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Strengthening the capacity of community health workers to deliver care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2015. 20 p.Government institutions, United Nations agencies, and global partners have been repositioning the role that community health workers (CHWs) can play in increasing access to essential quality health services in the context of national primary health care and universal health coverage. Given the growing momentum and interest in training CHWs, the United Nations health agencies (H4+) have developed this technical brief to orient country programme managers and global partners as to key elements for strengthening the capacity of CHWs, including health system and programmatic considerations, core competencies, and evidence-informed interventions for CHWs along the SR/MNCAH continuum of care. These key elements need to be adapted and contextualized by countries to reflect the structure, gaps, and opportunities of the national primary health care system, the interaction between the health sector with other sectors, and the specific roles and competencies that CHWs already have within that system. These key elements should also guide H4+ members and partners to take a joint and harmonized approach to supporting countries in their capacity-development efforts. Annex 1 lists SR/MNCAH interventions that CHWs can perform based on the best available evidence and existing WHO guidance.
Reproductive Health. 2015 Sep 18; 12(90):1-13.Background Young people make up for 24.5 % of Latin America’s population. Inadequate supply of specific and timely sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and sexuality education for young people increases their risk of sexual and reproductive ill health. Colombia is one of the few countries in Latin America that has implemented and scaled up specific and differentiated health and SRH services-termed as its Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) Model. Objective To provide a systematic description of the crucial factors that facilitated and hindered the scale up process of the YFHS Model in Colombia. Methods A comprehensive literature search on SRH services for young people and national efforts to improve their quality of care in Colombia and neighbouring countries was carried out along with interviews with a selection of key stakeholders. The information gathered was analysed using the World Health Organization-ExpandNet framework (WHO-ExpandNet). Results/Discussion In 7 years (2007-2013) of the implementation of the YFHS Model in Colombia more than 800 clinics nationally have been made youth friendly. By 2013, 536 municipalities in 32 departments had YFHS, resulting in coverage of 52 % of municipalities offering YHFS. The analysis using the WHO-ExpandNet framework identified five elements that enabled the scale up process: Clear policies and implementation guidelines on YFHS, clear attributes of the user organization and resource team, establishment and implementation of an inter-sectoral and interagency strategy, identification of and support to stakeholders and advocates of YFHS, and solid monitoring and evaluation. The elements that limited or slowed down the scale up effort were: Insufficient number of health personnel trained in youth health and SRH, a high turnover of health personnel, a decentralized health security system, inadequate supply of financial and human resources, and negative perceptions among community members about providing SRH information and services to young people. Conclusion Colombia’s experience shows that for large-scale implementation of youth health programmes, clear policies and implementation guidelines, support from institutional leaders and authorities who become champions of YFHS, continuous training of health personnel, and inclusion of users in the design and monitoring of these services are key.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, [WHO], 2009. 48 p. (Analytic Case Studies. Initiatives to Increase the Use of Health Services by Adolescents)This case study describes how the Government of Mozambique scaled up its successful youth HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health program to a national level. Geared toward developing-country governments and nongovernmental organizations, the case study provides a technical overview of the program and its interventions, a detailed description of the scale-up process and lessons learned, and the program's achievements.