Special Supplement on integrated Community Case Management
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We describe community health workers (CHWs) in government community case management (CCM) programs for child survival across sub-Saharan Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, 91% of 44 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) offices responded to a cross-sectional survey in 2010. Frequencies describe CHW profiles and activities in government CCM programs ( = 29). Although a few programs paid CHWs a salary or conversely, rewarded CHWs purely on a non-financial basis, most programs combined financial and non-financial incentives and had training for 1 week. Not all programs allowed CHWs to provide zinc, use timers, dispense antibiotics, or use rapid diagnostic tests. Many CHWs undertake health promotion, but fewer CHWs provide soap, water treatment products, indoor residual spraying, or ready-to-use therapeutic foods. For newborn care, very few promote kangaroo care, and they do not provide antibiotics or resuscitation. Even if CHWs are as varied as the health systems in which they work, more work must be done in terms of the design and implementation of the CHW programs for them to realize their potential.

[open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Re-use License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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  • Received : 04 Dec 2011
  • Accepted : 06 Jun 2012
  • Published online : 07 Nov 2012

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