Integrated community case management (iCCM) programs that train lay community health workers (CHWs) in the diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia have been increasingly adopted throughout sub-Saharan Africa to provide services in areas where accessibility to formal public sector health services is low. One important aspect of successful iCCM programs is the acceptability and utilization of services provided by CHWs. To understand community perceptions of the quality of care in an iCCM intervention in western Kenya, we used the Primary Care Assessment Survey to compare caregiver attitudes about the diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia as provided by CHWs and facility-based health workers (FBHWs). Overall, caregivers rated CHWs more highly than FBHWs across a set of 10 domains that capture multiple dimensions of the care process. Caregivers perceived CHWs to provide higher quality care in terms of accessibility and patient relationship and equal quality care on clinical aspects. These results argue for the continued implementation and scale-up of iCCM programs as an acceptable intervention for increasing access to treatment of childhood pneumonia.
© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.