CHWs (8) CHWs' role in contraceptive services

22 October, 2019

Dear HIFA community,

I would like to add a note on the role of CHWs in providing contraceptive services. Recently, Amref Health Africa and the KIT Royal Tropical Institute conducted a study on the role of Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) in the provision of contraceptive services in Malawi. We concluded that HSAs are trusted providers of short term contraceptives, but that their ability to include male and youth in their health promotion activities and to address (the many!) misconceptions around contraceptives needs improvement.

HSAs are primarily supervised by officers from the environmental health department. However, contraceptive services fall under the family planning department in Malawi. There seemed to be a disconnect between the two departments, and as a result the supervision of HSAs on the provision of contraceptive services was minimal.

This might happen in other settings as well: CHWs with a broad task description are supposed to be supervised by different people for different tasks, which can bring in challenges. Any experiences from other countries, or good examples of integrated supervision?

Our study from Malawi will be presented at the upcoming CHW conference in Dhaka. Hope to see some of you there!

Kind regards,

Maryse Kok

Senior Advisor Sexual and Reproductive Health/ Community Health

KIT Royal Tropical Institute

T +31205688388

Mobile +265991148724

Skype: Maryse.kok

P.O. Box 95001

1090 HA Amsterdam

HIFA profile: Maryse Kok works in Health Systems Research at the Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands. Professional interests: Community health systems, Human resources for health, Sexual and reproductive health and rights.