Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla

Abstract

Community Health Worker (CHW) programs have had a positive impact on public health across many settings worldwide. However, due to the nature of their vocation and the challenging health infrastructure in which they often work, these individuals commonly face significant barriers that threaten their performance as health promoters, educators, and liaisons. This qualitative research study assessed the perceived challenges for volunteers of a rural Promotoras de Salud program in Bolivia. Data were collected by way of in-person interviews with 20 active Promotoras de Salud of ten communities in the north central region. Results showed that two commonly reported sources of perceived challenges were community inter-related systems and Promotoras’ level of health training and knowledge. Potential solutions to these challenges include improved communication between Promotoras, community members, local leaders, and clinic staff; consistent and uniform incentives for Promotoras; and more detailed and efficient training sessions. This study focused on a specific community setting but findings are likely to be generalizable to other CHW programs serving disadvantaged populations in Bolivia and beyond.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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