Update on publications and events related to primary health care and community health

22 May, 2023

Dear friends and colleagues with an interest in primary health care and community health:

Since my last communication in March, I am pleased to be able to share with you a few of the articles that I have come across that I think of worthy of your attention.

1. An article by colleagues from Satav and MAHAN Trust in Maharashtra, India, that reports in BMJ Global Health the results of a cluster randomized controlled trial of home-based child care involving routine visits by community health workers in a difficult-to-access rural impoverished area where the baseline under-5 mortality was 174 deaths per 1,000 live births. The project was developed in a participatory process with the communities. The study area had a population of 280,000. The authors reported a 69% decline in U5M over the initial study period (2004-2009) with maintenance of these rates following the completion of the formal study (2010 to 2015) and a notable decline observed using the same methodology in test villages using the regular government system (2017-2019). A copy of the article is attached. https://gh.bmj.com/content/7/7/e008909.abstract

2. A current overview of community health workers in the United States with a focus on their effectiveness and integration in health care and public health in the United States has been published by Knowles and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania in Annual Reviews of Public Health. The article highlights how CHWs are providing a critical link between marginalized communities and health care and public health services. Studies indicate that CHWs improve the management of chronic conditions, increase access to preventive care, improve patients’ experience of care, and reduce health care costs. They also advance health equity by addressing social needs and advocating for systems and policy change. A copy of the article is attached. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-071521-...

3. Ejigu and colleagues from various university in Ethiopia report the findings of a representative nationwide survey of community health workers (Health Extension Workers) in Human Resources in Health. The authors report high levels of satisfaction with autonomy, relationships with co-workers, and recognition, but low levels of satisfaction with pay and benefits, opportunities for promotion, and education. This is one of the few studies of a nationally representative sample of a national CHW program. The findings highlight the need for bringing remuneration into line with the challenges and workloads of CHWs – a pressing need in most countries with national CHW programs. A copy of this article is attached. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12960-023-00818-4

4. A recent Commentary in The Lancet from the Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima and collleagues highlights the importance of community health workers and community-led responses for ending AIDS, stopping COVID-19, Ebola virus disease, and preparing for the next pandemic. These recommendations arise from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness as well as from a two-year consultative process at UNAIDS. A copy is attached. https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2822%2902575-2

5. The New York Times Magazine on March 29 ran a detailed and insightful article by Janeen Interlandi entitled “The incredible challenge of counting every global birth and death” highlighting the importance of and challenges of vital events registration. This is behind a paywall, but I have attached a copy for those of you who do not have a subscription to the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/29/magazine/birth-death-tally.html

6. Printed copies are now available for purchase of the following documents I have contributed to, all of which are also available electronically:

Our 2023 supplement in the International Journal for Equity in Health entitled “Reducing inequities in maternal and child health in rural Guatemala through the CBIO+ approach of Curamericas”


Our 2022 supplement in the journal Health Research Policy and Systems entitled “Community Health Workers at the Dawn of a New Era”


Our 2021 book entitled Health for the People: Health for the People: National Community Health Worker Programs from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe (a compendium of case studies of 19 national community health worker programs)


Our 2019 supplement in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene entitled “Impact, innovation, and inclusion of civil society organizations in polio eradication: the CORE Group Polio Project Story.”


If you are interested in purchasing any of these, let me know (hperry2@jhu.edu).

Lastly, let me invite anyone interested to join me for a 2½ day workshop on September 14-16 at which time we will share experiences and lessons from implementing the census-based, impact-oriented (CBIO) approach to improving health. I and my colleagues at Curamericas Global are celebrating 40 years of work using this methodology, in which routine home visitation and vital events registration are key components. We look forward to sharing our experiences with others in hopes of encouraging broader use of this approach. The workshop will be online and in-person (on the campus of Duke University in Durham. NC, USA) and will be translated simultaneously into English, Spanish, and French. Registration is free for anyone from a developing country. For registration and further information, contact me (hperry2@juh.edu). See the attached flyer as well.

Feel free to share this email with anyone else or with any relevant listserve you may have access to.

You are receiving this email because of your interest in primary health care and community health.


Warm regards,


Henry B. Perry, MD, PhD, MPH

Senior Associate, Health Systems Program

Department of International Health

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Baltimore, MD, USA 21205

Hperry2@jhu.edu; 443-797-5202

HIFA profile: Henry Perry is a Senior Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. Professional interests: Community health and primary health care. hperry2 AT jhu.edu