Government policy to address Community Health Worker issue
<p class=”intro”>As we have reported in the previous pages, one of the most contentious issues in the Free State is the employment of Community Health Workers (CHWs). The issue of proper employment and integration of CHWs has been discussed for many years, without resolution. On 24 April this year, the Department of Health published a new draft policy proposing to integrate CHWs into Ward-Based Primary Heath Care Teams. Below, we set out some of the core components of this policy.</p>
The Municipal Ward-Based PHC Outreach Team (WBPHCOT) is based in PHC facilities and offers integrated services to households and individuals within its catchment area. The catchment area refers to Wards within Municipalities. The team provides primary health care to families/households; community outreach services; and preventative, promotive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services.
Composition of Ward-Based Primary HealthCare Outreach Team
WBPHCOT will consist of an Outreach Team Leader (OTL Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Home-Based Carers (HBCs) at Municipal Ward level. Environmental Health Practitioners and Health Promoters will be available to support WBPHCOT at sub-district, district, or municipal level.
The size of the WBPHCOT team will be determined by the following factors: population density; geographic location; burden of disease in catchment population; and distance from Primary Healthcare facility. The greater the distance from the Primary Healthcare facility, the more time would be required for travel to and from the facility, resulting in more CHWs and HBCs required to serve the catchment population. If you would like more information, or would like to see the full policy, please contact Violet Kaseke at SECTION27 email@example.com, or 011 356 4100.
The organogram below further explains the proposed structure of the Ward-Based PHC Outreach Teams. •