Innovation in supervision and support of community health workers for better newborn survival in southern Tanzania

Int Health. 2014 Dec;6(4):339-41. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihu016. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


Background: Home visits by community health workers may help to improve newborn survival, but sustained high-quality supervision of community volunteers is challenging.

Objectives: To compare facility-led and community-linked supervision approaches of 824 community health volunteers working to improve newborn care in Southern Tanzania.

Methods: Using a before-after design, we compared 6 months of supervision reports from each approach.

Results: During the community-linked approach over 50 times more supervision contacts were recorded than during the facility-only supervision approach (1.04 contacts per volunteer per month vs 0.02), and the volunteer-supervisor ratio reduced from 7.8 to 1.6.

Conclusion: Involving community leaders has the potential to improve supervision of community health volunteers. Identifier: NCT01022788;

Keywords: Community health workers; Newborn health; Supervision; Tanzania.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Community Health Workers / standards
  • Community Health Workers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Controlled Before-After Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration
  • Home Care Services / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Personnel Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Postnatal Care / organization & administration
  • Postnatal Care / standards*
  • Tanzania
  • Volunteers*

Associated data