Hi Becky, thanks for sharing your experiences with certification and standardization of CHWs in the US. I have worked with CHWs in East Africa for several years, and would think my experiences may be similar to those who work with CHWs in other developing countries around the world.
Formal training by formally trained healthcare professionals is usually welcomed by CHWs with little or no formal training, especially if shared in respect of local culture, and some form of interpretation so that to create rapport. Most of the CHWs I worked with were illiterate, with few if any numeracy skills, and yet they have excellent rapport with their peers and patients. I witnessed an MCH session given to forty or fifty traditional midwives in up country Uganda a few years back, by an American formally trained and certified midwife with a PhD inPublic health, giving the training in Teso, the local language, but also with the local body language, such that the midwives could quickly identify the issues being explored and explained in scientific terms that they could understand and appreciate. The midwives spontaneously began to play act the newly learned methodologies, accompanied by singsong, by which they reinforce their new learning', and showing one another their acceptance to improved healthcare methods.
For the sake of extending the benefits of certifications and standardization to be more inclusive, I think we could find a way to train nd evaluate relevant healthcare skills sets for these other CHWs.
Thanks again, and best wishes, Daniel
HIFA profile: Daniel Stern is a HIFA Representative and member of the mHIFA WG. He is a member of Uganda MCH TWG. Daniel is Co-founder of the educational NGO Uconnect, and of the Innovation Hub, Hive Colab, and is also Cofounder of ISOC Uganda and Uganda IXP. He is a UN WSA National Expert. His Uconnect team distributes off-line E-Learning content, including Hesperian Health Guides to schools in East Africa since 2008. During his six-years as Lead for Uganda Mobile Monday he regularly organized events with mobile health themes, usually in collaboration with UNICEF’s Uganda team, and their pan African IntraHealth efforts to improve interoperative healthcare systems, both within and between countries,in mHero, such that developer- entrepreneurs’s apps would align with the latest trends by MoH policies. http://www.hifa.org/support/members/daniel
DStern AT Uconnect.org