Achieving child survival goals: potential contribution of community health workers

Lancet. 2007 Jun 23;369(9579):2121-31. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60325-0.


There is renewed interest in the potential contribution of community health workers to child survival. Community health workers can undertake various tasks, including case management of childhood illnesses (eg, pneumonia, malaria, and neonatal sepsis) and delivery of preventive interventions such as immunisation, promotion of healthy behaviour, and mobilisation of communities. Several trials show substantial reductions in child mortality, particularly through case management of ill children by these types of community interventions. However, community health workers are not a panacea for weak health systems and will need focussed tasks, adequate remuneration, training, supervision, and the active involvement of the communities in which they work. The introduction of large-scale programmes for community health workers requires evaluation to document the impact on child survival and cost effectiveness and to elucidate factors associated with success and sustainability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Health Services / economics
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Child Health Services / trends
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Workers* / organization & administration
  • Community Health Workers* / supply & distribution
  • Community Health Workers* / trends
  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / economics
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Maternal Health Services / trends