‘It’s the sense of responsibility that keeps you going’: stories and experiences of participation from rural community health workers in Guatemala
2012 (English)In: Archives of Public Health, ISSN 0778-7367, Vol. 70, 18- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: In 1978, the Alma-Ata declaration on primary health care (PHC) recognized that the world’s healthissues required more than just hospital-based and physician-centered policies. The declaration called for a paradigmchange that would allow governments to provide essential care to their population in a universally acceptablemanner. The figure of the community health worker (CHW) remains a central feature of participation within thePHC approach, and being a CHW is still considered to be an important way of participation within the healthsystem.Methods: This study explores how the values and personal motivation of community health workers influencestheir experience with this primary health care strategy in in the municipality of Palencia, Guatemala. To do this, weused an ethnographic approach and collected data in January-March of 2009 and 2010 by using participantobservation and in-depth interviews.Results: We found that the CHWs in the municipality had a close working relationship with the mobile health teamand with the community, and that their positions allowed them to develop leadership and teamwork skills that mayprove useful in other community participation processes. The CHWs are motivated in their work and volunteerism is akey value in Palencia, but there is a lack of infrastructure and growth opportunities.Conclusion: Attention should be paid to keeping the high levels of commitment and integration within the healthteam as well as keeping up supervision and economic funds for the program.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2012. Vol. 70, 18- p.
Community health workers, Community participation, Guatemala, Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata declaration
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59860DOI: 10.1186/0778-7367-70-18OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-59860DiVA: diva2:556953