Community health workers have long played important roles in the provision of health services in communities throughout the developing world. As their success in reaching remote populations has been documented, governments, development agencies, and implementing partners have responded with the creation of community-health focused programs, government-funded cadres of CHWs, and other mechanisms to leverage community health systems.
A thought-provoking video from the Global Health Workforce Alliance highlights the importance of CHWs, and the challenges around maintaining a cadre of skilled workers.
In response to a need for a central forum for discussion around increases in and issues around community health work, Community Health Worker (CHW) Central was formally launched at the annual meeting for the Global Health Council in June 2011. Discussions around five key themes amongst the approximately 100 attendees were rich and insightful, providing a dynamic springboard for the start of this new community of practice.
As of August 2011, the network has nearly 250 members, including a number of senior experts with diverse experience around community health work. Steve Hodgins, MCHIP’s Global Leadership Team Leader, and Shannon Downey, Community Health Program Manager at MCHIP partner the CORE Group, both serve as members of the Technical Advisory Group.
If you’re interested in joining CHW Central’s online fora and staying up to date on the latest news, research, and best practices around community health work, please explore opportunities to connect on the CHW Central website.