Community Health Worker Program (CHW):

1 in 10 children dies before the age of 5, and  1
community health care worker can save hundreds of lives.

          15 villages
26 healthcare workers
3,000 children under 5


CHWMeet copy


The  most  effective  way  to  save   children’s  lives  in  developing  countries like  Burkina  Faso,   is  to  train  a  village  resident  as  a  health worker to treat   the  most  common  causes  of  death.  Health  workers provide basic, critical health care, make house falls to follow up, and act as liaisons with local clinics. They can also provide  public  health  education, and teach parents about preventative measures and home care. Village  health   workers  in  Burkina  Faso  serve  the   same  function as nurse-practitioners  in   the  United  States  –  diagnosing  and   treating  illness  and  injuries  under  the supervision  of  a highly   trained  health   professional.

A   trained  health worker  can   save  the  lives  of   thousands  of   children  in  a   lifetime  career. Small RAIN is working on a village health worker program that will train  26  residents  of  15  villages  to   serve  their communities. As we evaluate the program, establishing that it is effective and well-run, we will expand it to 15 new villages. 1 out of 10  health  workers  will  be  chosen  from  the  first  year’s   trainees  to  supervise  and  coach  them.  This  is  a  cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure — a working system that will allow us to expand to include other communities in need.

Prevention is a critical part of the program. To that end, we will be providing:
1. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets
2. Sanitation and hygiene education
3. Soap, and training in hand-washing in every household where a child is treated for illness.
4. Education about nutrition and preventing malnutrition by breast feeding.
5. We are following the WHO protocol for prevention of malaria in children under 5, reducing the incidence of malaria as much as 75%. The incidence of malaria will be compared to information from the project’s baseline survey.
6. Chlorhexidine treatment for newborn umbilical care, a WHO protocol that can reduce neonatal death by 30%. The incidence of neonatal death that will be compared with information from the project’s baseline survey.

Evaluation: The under 5 mortality rate will be measured by approved scientific protocol before the project begins and after it is completed. Dr. Angelo Tomedi will supervise the baseline study this during his 4 week stay. He will also direct the follow-up survey. Before the project begins, a survey will be conducted by a research team to evaluate the health of children under 5 in 30 villages. The survey will be repeated at the end of year 1. The completed research protocol has already been approved by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Burkina Faso Ethical Committee for Research.
Records  kept  by  village  health  workers   will  determine  program  effectiveness by measuring:
• Child  mortality
• Child  malnutrition
• Immunization  coverage
• Rate  of  using  insecticide-treated   mosquito  nets  for  children
• Antibiotic  treatment  of  children   under  5  years    with  suspected   pneumonia

Program Highlights
• Trained health workers will serve multiple functions. They will:
1. Provide urgent  care  for  illness  and   injuries.
2. Be responsible for providing  free medicines to sick children, specifically those under the age of 5.
3. Perform house calls for newborns and those in need of follow-up care.
4. Educate family members on how to provide home-care and prevent and treat illnesses.
5. Evaluate and treat children suffering malnutrition.
• Training  program  includes  train-­the-trainer  component  – top trainees  will   develop  ability  to  train  new  health   workers.
• Training  sessions  will be conducted using educational films from Global Health Media.

Program Specifics