According to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, task shifting approach is a “method of strengthening and expanding the health workforce to rapidly increase access”. This approach involves the rational redistribution of tasks among health workforce teams. Specific tasks are moved, where appropriate, from highly qualified health workers to health workers with shorter training and fewer qualifications in order to make more efficient use of the available human resources. This is a vital tool to address shortage of health workers.
CHE is a wholistic, community-based development strategy that combines relevant evangelism with health education and development principles to bring about the transformation of individuals and communities. It is a training strategy that empowers people to do things for themselves, equips leaders, develops community ownership and promotes disease prevention. In Madisi, CHE identified local people to be trained to train others. These will also train others in the community, take part in identifying CHE committee members and Community Health Evangelists (CHEs) who are allocated households to work with. Thus, CHE is working towards shifting tasks from community health nurses and public health professional to the volunteers in the community.
CHE promotes disease prevention thus is a public health initiative. Treat, Train, Retain, a task shifting approach!
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo