Strengthening the capabilities of families and communities to improve child health in low and middle income countries
Baqui, Abdullah H
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The concept of community involvement in delivery of healthcare gained prominence after the 1978 Alma Ata conference on primary care. Many countries established large scale community health worker programmes with paid or voluntary workers to provide preventive, promotive, and curative care focusing on women and children. During the millennium development goal period, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, combined with generalised shortages of skilled health personnel in low and middle income countries, increased the need for health workers. This resulted in persistently low coverage of high impact interventions for children and growing equity gaps within and between countries. The involvement of families and communities has emerged as important for increasing access to health services, particularly for those in rural and hard to reach areas. Health providers can support families to provide adequate home care for children’s healthy growth and development. Families also need to be able to respond appropriately when children are sick, seek appropriate timely assistance, and follow recommended treatments.
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