The Afghan Community Health Worker Program: A Health Systems Analysis of a Population Health Intervention

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Title: The Afghan Community Health Worker Program: A Health Systems Analysis of a Population Health Intervention
Authors: Najafizada, Said Ahmad Maisam
Date: 2016
Abstract: To tackle one of the world’s worst maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes and a chronic shortage of human resources for health, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health deployed volunteer Community Health Workers (CHW) in rural areas of Afghanistan in 2003. This thesis documents the Afghan CHW program, exploring organizational and community contexts. The research design in this study is a mixed methods case study. The actual Afghan CHW program was situated with an Afghan complex adapative health system, mainly guided by the policy of the health system but was also largely influenced by the power and gender dynamics of the community context in which it was implemented. The tasks of CHWs were numerous but CHWs role was more than just the sum of their tasks; they occupied a unique location juxtaposed between formal and informal HRH systems. It is important to acknowledge the assembly of so many national and international organizations in achieving a shared goal of providing health services to a large population in an unstable and partially insecure environment. The shared goal in the Afghan context may have been interpreted only in terms availability of services, though the goal carries with it, either explicitly or implicitly, the values of effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, and costliness – known as quality by some participants of this study. The community component was another layer of the complex adaptive system that made up the Afghan CHW program. Political-ethnic power in the community and legal-rational authority of the health system influenced the way communities were mapped in an inequitable manner, in turn, contributed to the unfair distribution of resources to the populations. Finally, the intersection of the gender equity approach and the gendered nature of the work as a cross-cutting layer added to the complexity of the Afghan health system.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35044
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5204
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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