Key findings

Lay health workers (LHWs) provide care for a range of issues, including maternal and child health. The LHW programme strength is based on the close relationship between LHWs and recipients, the development of services that recipients perceive as relevant; regular and visible support from the health system and the community; and appropriate training, supervision and incentives.


Lay health workers (LHWs) perform diverse functions related to health care delivery. LHWs are usually provided with job related training, they have no formal professional or paraprofessional tertiary education, and can be involved in either paid or voluntary care. For LHW programmes to be effective, we need a better understanding of the factors that influence their success and sustainability.


What factors can affect the implementation of LHW programmes for maternal and child health?