Bulletin of the World Health Organization
To assess changes in the use of essential maternal and child health services in Konobo, Liberia, after implementation of an enhanced community health worker (CHW) programme.
The Liberian Ministry of Health partnered with Last Mile Health, a nongovernmental organization, to implement a pilot CHW programme with enhanced recruitment, training, supervision and compensation. To assess changes in maternal and child health-care use, we conducted repeated cross-sectional cluster surveys before (2012) and after (2015) programme implementation.
Between 2012 and 2015, 54 CHWs, seven peer supervisors and three clinical supervisors were trained to serve a population of 12 127 people in 44 communities. The regression-adjusted percentage of children receiving care from formal care providers increased by 60.1 (95% confidence interval, CI: 51.6 to 68.7) percentage points for diarrhoea, by 30.6 (95% CI: 20.5 to 40.7) for fever and by 51.2 (95% CI: 37.9 to 64.5) for acute respiratory infection. Facility-based delivery increased by 28.2 points (95% CI: 20.3 to 36.1). Facility-based delivery and formal sector care for acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea increased more in agricultural than gold-mining communities. Receipt of one-or-more antenatal care sessions at a health facility and postnatal care within 24 hours of delivery did not change significantly.
We identified significant increases in uptake of child and maternal health-care services from formal providers during the pilot CHW programme in remote rural Liberia. Clinic-based services, such as postnatal care, and services in specific settings, such as mining areas, require additional interventions to achieve optimal outcomes.
Luckow, Peter W.; Kenny, Avi; White, Emily; Ballard, Madeleine; Dorr, Lorenzo; Erlandson, Kirby; Grant, Benjamin; Johnson, Alice; Lorenzen, Breanna; and Mukherjee, Subarna, "Implementation Research on Community Health Workers’ Provision of Maternal and Child Health Services in Rural Liberia" (2017). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Scholarship. 3628.