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Open Access Highly Accessed Correspondence

An integrated approach of community health worker support for HIV/AIDS and TB care in Angónia district, Mozambique

Sandrine Simon1, Kathryn Chu2, Marthe Frieden1, Baltazar Candrinho3, Nathan Ford24, Helen Schneider4 and Marc Biot5*

Author Affiliations

1 Médecins Sans Frontières, Angónia, Mozambique

2 Médecins Sans Frontières, Johannesburg, South Africa

3 Department of Health, Angónia, Mozambique

4 Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unity, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

5 Médecins Sans Frontières, Maputo, Mozambique

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BMC International Health and Human Rights 2009, 9:13  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-13

Published: 17 July 2009

Abstract

Background

The need to scale up treatment for HIV/AIDS has led to a revival in community health workers to help alleviate the health human resource crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. Community health workers have been employed in Mozambique since the 1970s, performing disparate and fragmented activities, with mixed results.

Methods

A participant-observer description of the evolution of community health worker support to the health services in Angónia district, Mozambique.

Results

An integrated community health team approach, established jointly by the Ministry of Health and Médecins Sans Frontières in 2007, has improved accountability, relevance, and geographical access for basic health services.

Conclusion

The community health team has several advantages over 'disease-specific' community health worker approaches in terms of accountability, acceptability, and expanded access to care.