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Table 6 Summary of findings on logistical support and supplies

From: What do we know about community-based health worker programs? A systematic review of existing reviews on community health workers

Topic Summary of findings
Regular supplies enable effectiveness Directly: Equipping CHWs with the medicines (e.g., drug kits) and supplies (e.g., rapid diagnostic tests, job aids such as checklist and patient forms) that they are trained to use and mandated to have enables them to perform their related roles [27, 35, 38].
Indirectly: Community trust and respect can be eroded if CHWs experience frequent stock outs or do not have access to the supplies needed to perform their role [35, 38].
Need for travel support in remote areas • Travel can be a barrier to effectiveness as CHWs are dependent on road infrastructure and transportation options (e.g., availability of busses); bicycles or a transportation allowance can support CHW access in remote areas [15].
mHealth tools are being explored • mHealth (mobile technology: phones, personal digital assistants) is being explored as a tool to support CHW work through assisting with diagnostics and enabling communication, reminders, and reporting between the periphery with the center [15, 44, 101, 102].
Low-tech job aids support CHW activities • Counting beads can be designed to support assessment of rapid breathing [78].
• Treatment cards that remind CHWs how to prescribe drugs [15] and pictorial instructions for rapid diagnostic tests for malaria [61] can improve adherence to guidelines.
• Checklists and standard record forms are considered “best practice” for some HIV CHW programs [53].