Impacts of community lay-leader health worker training & practice (Uttarakhand, India)
Keywords:community health worker, training, India, primary healthcare, advocacy, health system strengthening
This study has investigated the impacts of the Community Lay-Leaders Health Training Certificate course on trainees and their communities, specific to the state of Uttarakhand, north India. A suite of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were conducted among course stakeholders and graduates respectively, and textual data was added to the data set. Thematic analysis of the results revealed four themes, including: (1) the effectiveness of course design and delivery, together with the key role of the Coordinating Facilitator; (2) the match between graduates’ practices, the providing institution’s objectives and general expectations of community health worker; (3) the strengthening of the health system through skills multiplication, collaboration with existing authorities, and advocacy for higher quality in professional practice; and (4) the need for ongoing support and training post-graduation. The findings are consistent with literature concerning community health workers’ roles and challenges, although some potentially unique outcomes were noted with respect to the pastoral support provided to trainees and the pro-active transfer of graduates’ knowledge and skills to fellow villagers.
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