Development of an integrated model of care for use by community health workers working with chronic non-communicable diseases in Khayelitsha, South Africa
Tsolekile, Lungiswa Primrose
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Non-communicable diseases (NCD) continue to be a public health concern globally and contribute to the burden of disease. The formal health system in developing countries lacks the capacity to deal with these NCD as it is overburdened by communicable diseases. Thus, community health workers (CHWs) have been suggested as a solution for alleviating the burden for primary health facilities, by extending NCD care to the community. This thesis aims to develop an integrated model of care for CHWs working with patients with non-communicable diseases by describing and exploring current CHW roles, knowledge and practices in relation to community-based NCD care. The specific objectives for this study included 1) the exploration of the NCD roles of generalist CHWs in the context of a limited resource urban setting; 2) determining the NCD-related knowledge of CHWs, and factors influencing this in a limited resource urban setting and 3) a comparison of actual and envisaged roles in the management and prevention of NCD using the integrated chronic diseases management model (ICDM) as a benchmark, and propose key competencies and systems support for NCD functions of CHWs in South Africa Mixed methods were used to achieve the objectives of this study. First, a qualitative enquiry was conducted using observations to respond to the first objective. A quantitative cross-sectional design was then used to achieve the second objective, and a questionnaire was used to interview CHWs. A comparison of findings from both the quantitative and qualitative studies with policy guidelines was undertaken to address the third objective.