Community health workers in low- and middle-income countries may be cost-effective in some important areas

Added April 30, 2020

Citation: Vaughan K, Kok MC, Witter S, et al. Costs and cost-effectiveness of community health workers: evidence from a literature review. Human Resources for Health 2015; 13: 71

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on health systems and healthcare workers. One way to ease this may be to make greater use of community or lay healthcare workers.

In this literature review, the authors searched for research evaluating the cost and cost effectiveness of community healthcare worker based interventions in low- and middle-income countries. They restricted their searches to studies published in English between January 2003 and July 2015. They included 32 primary papers and 4 review papers.

What was found: Community healthcare worker interventions in low- and middle-income countries were cost-effective for the treatment of community-based tuberculosis.

Community healthcare worker interventions were generally cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; with benefits on neonatal mortality and mortality of children under 5 years of age.

Community healthcare worker interventions in low- and middle-income countries for malaria were generally cost-effective.

Community healthcare worker interventions in low- and middle-income countries improve coverage and equity of primary care services.


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