TitleCommunity health workers as critical building blocks to strengthen health systems: a two-case study of innovative CHWs in Zambia and Japan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHenning, M, Goto, A, Chi, C, Rudd, RE
JournalJournal of Communication in Healthcare
Pagination241 - 249
Date Published10/2015

Background: This work focuses on assessing the role of professional community health workers (CHWs) in strengthening the health system. Methods: This cross-national case study draws from two different sources, a program in Zambia and a program in Japan. For both programs, we examine CHWs, who were trained in education and health, as the link between community and health systems to explore issues related to identification and to task. Results: We conclude that there is a need to reconsider the conventional scientific and bureaucratic frames that CHWs have to navigate. Further, we identify the potential for professional community members to take on various tasks of CHWs and the subsequent necessities and opportunities for building competence in communicating with and representing community. Finally, we present the perceived challenges facing CHWs in terms of community governance as well as their contributions to strengthening the health systems in their areas.