This morning Luigi D’Aquino and Audrey Mahieu, LSTM, presented the key findings of the independent evaluation of the Community Health Program (CHP) in Rwanda, in the presence of various Directors Generals of the Ministry of Health, District Health Directors, United Nations representatives, donors, and national and international civil society organizations.
The evaluation was conducted from January to December 2016 by LSTM, and it was the first comprehensive assessment of the community health worker (CHW) ever performed in country.
A mixed methods approach was used to evaluate this complex program, which has been implemented for the past 20 years in Rwanda, including a survey of health facilities and of CHWs, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a review of existing literature and secondary data.
“To date, an army of 45.000 volunteer CHWs provides a broad range of promotive, preventive and curative services to Rwandans communities. The results of the program are impressive, although the evaluation has identified clear operational issues that need to be addressed to make the program stronger in the short term – says Luigi D’Aquino – including training; reporting; procurement and supply management. In the long term, a changing social, economic and epidemiological scenario may require the country to move out from a large scale, volunteer based model to a different approach to community health”.
Our findings, complemented by other studies performed alongside the evaluation with support from USAID, generated interest and a lively discussion amongst the more than 100 participants who attended the workshop today.
The event followed previous technical validation meetings held in Rwanda in November 2016, where the Minister of Health of Rwanda, Dr. Diane Gashumba, the State Minister of Health, the Permanent Secretary and various Directors Generals discussed the key findings of the evaluation with the LSTM team, prior to its broader dissemination.
The study was acknowledged by the Ministry of Health as an outstanding piece of evidence that will trigger further, high level decisions on the CHP.