The Effect of Health Sector Support on the Functional Status of Community Health Agents

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Addis Ababa University


A comparative intervention study was conducted on 102 Community Health Agents (CRAs) in two Districts of Illubabor Administrative Region, south-western Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to look into the effect of health sector support, particularly of a refresher course and regular supervision, on the health service activities of CRAs. A total of 102 CRAs who were performing at least one activity specified in their job description were divided into two groups and designated by the lottery method as either intervention or control group. Baseline input to enhance community involvement was provided to both groups; a refresher course and monthly regular supervision were provided to the intervention group only. Both groups were followed for six consecutive months to collect data on 13 health service activities separately and as a composite, which represented the functional status of the CRA. The findings indicated that 60.7% of CRAs were initially performing at least one health service activity. A group x time analysis revealed that the composite functional score and most of the 13 activities increased after time o (TO) for CRAs in the intervention group but remained stable or declined in the control group. The mean composite score for intervention CRAs increased from 13.08 at time 0 (TO) to 19.26 at time 6 (T6); whereas forcontrol CRAs it declined from 12.17 at TO to 9.58 at T6. The difference was attributed to the increase in health sector support, which in turn also helped to maintain community support.



Effect of Health Sector Support