“We are their eyes and ears here on the ground, yet they do not appreciate us”—Factors influencing the performance of Kenyan community health volunteers working in urban informal settlements

Kui Muraya | November 22, 2023

2021 New Voices Fellow, Kui Muraya, recently co-authored a study for PLOS Global Public Health exploring factors influencing the performance of community health volunteers (CHV) in informal urban settlements within Nairobi.

As noted by Muraya and the other authors, community health workers are an essential part of the health system, particularly in low- and middle- income countries, as they play a critical role in linking the community with the formal health system. “When involved efficiently, CHVs can improve access to primary health care services”, the authors further note. This includes improving access to maternal and neonatal health services and key psychosocial support services. Community health workers also provide essential preventive health education on topics such as hygiene and sanitation, breastfeeding, family planning, and child immunization.

Therefore, as crucial actors in improving health outcomes in low-resource settings, in this piece Muraya and the other authors provide a series of recommendations that aim to enhance the overall well-being and performance of community health volunteers including adequate and timely remuneration, holistic training, and adequate supportive supervision among others.



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