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Community-Based Health Workers Can Safely and Effectively Administer Injectable Contraceptives

Because of increased demand for injectable contraception coupled with an overburdened clinical health system, countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have recently expanded the use of non-clinic based approaches in providing this method. In this first review of the available evidence of these efforts, this consultation concluded that there is sufficient evidence to support expansion of community-based health workers providing progestin-only injectable contraceptives, especially DMPA. [from author]

Task Sharing in Family Planning

Many developing countries face strains in meeting the demands for provision of health services because of limited medical personnel. This has led to renewed interest in task sharing, also known as task shifting. A key feature of task sharing is that those with less medical or paramedical training can provide some of the same services with the same quality as those with more training. [from author]

Community Pharmacist Intervention in Depressed Primary Care Patients (PRODEFAR Study): Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community pharmacist intervention developed to improve adherence and outcomes of primary care patients with depression. [from abstract]

Provision of Emergency Contraceptive Services through Paraprofessionals in India

This two-year study to assessed the usefulness and effectiveness of using paraprofessionals in educating and providing emergency contraceptive pill services to potential users. [from summary]

Expanding Comprehensive Postabortion Care to Primary Health Facilities in Geita District, Tanzania

A postabortion care program was implemented in 11 primary and secondary health facilities in rural Tanzania in order to decentralize comprehensive postabortion care to community level by upgrading midlevel providers to perform manual vacuum aspiration. [from abstract]

Task Shifting for Emergency Obstetric Surgery in District Hospitals in Senegal

This article discusses the issues facing the district training program for emergency obstetric surgery teams in Senegal. [adapted from abstract]

Community-Based Skilled Birth Attendants in Bangladesh: Attending Deliveries at Home

A program to create a cadre of skilled birth attendants for home births was launched by the Government of Bangladesh Bangladesh in 2004. This article suggests that the task-shifting program can only serve as an interim measure rather than a long-term solution as more women decide to seek institutional delivery and professional midwifery care. [adapted from abstract]

Provision of Anesthesia Services for Emergency Obstetric Care Through Task Shifting in South Asia

This paper provides a literature review and documents existing programmes for task shifting anaesthesia services to mid-level providers in South Asia to increase access to emergency obstetric care and reduce maternal mortality. [adapted from abstract]

Training Needs Assessment for Clinicians at Antiretroviral Therapy Clinics: Evidence from a National Survey in Uganda

To increase access to antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings, several experts recommend task shifting from doctors to clinical officers, nurses and midwives. This study sought to identify task shifting that has already occurred and assess the antiretroviral therapy training needs among clinicians to whom tasks have shifted. [from abstract]

Guidance for Nurse Prescription and Management of Antiretroviral Therapy

In resource-limited settings, serious healthcare worker shortages that contribute to weak health systems exist alongside the drive to scale up ART and other HIV services to reach those in need. The global health community thus needs to reassess current delivery models and pilot new ones that could expand needed healthcare and be more cost effective, while preserving the quality of services. This book provides a roadmap for conceptualizing and initiating the expansion of the nursing scope of practice to include ART prescription and management. [adapted from author]

Can Community Volunteers Work to Trace Patients Defaulting from Scheduled Psychiatric Clinic Appointments?

This article details the results of a South African study assessing the feasibility of utilizing volunteers in tracing patients who had defaulted from scheduled psychiatric clinic appointments. [adapted from introduction]

Unpaid Community Volunteers - Effective Providers of Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) in Rural South Africa

This article reports on the obstacles to care and the outcome of treatment for patients presenting with tuberculosis to four hospitals in the rural South African region of Sekhukhuneland. [adapted from article]

Surgical Task Shifting in Sub-Saharan Africa

One of the main barriers to surgical care in resource-limited settings is the shortage of trained health workers. A number of approaches are being employed to overcome this shortage including the mobilization of non-physician clinicians to perform surgical and anesthetic tasks. This paper discusses some of the experiences of surgical task shifting to date, and outlines lessons from task shifting in the delivery of HIV/AIDS care in sub-Saharan Africa. [adapted from abstract]

Task Shifting: the Answer to the Human Resources Crisis in Africa?

The delegation of tasks from one cadre to another has been used in many countries for decades. However, rapidly increasing care needs and accelerating human resource crises in Africa have given task shifting new prominence and urgency. This commentary argues that task shifting holds great promise, but that any long-term success of task shifting hinges on serious political and financial commitments. [adapted from abstract]

Building Capacity to Save Women's Lives in Mali

The Capacity Project partnered with the Ministry of Health and other organizations to perform a pilot study to demonstrate the efficiency and the safety of matrones using active management of the third stage of labor with skilled birth attendants who were authorized to perform the practice and assessed factors that could affect their ability. [from author]

WHO UNESCO FIP Pharmacy Education Taskforce

Because of their knowledge of medicines and clinical therapeutics, pharmacists are suitably placed for task shifting in health care and could be further trained to undertake functions such as clinical management and laboratory diagnostics. Indeed, pharmacists have been shown to be willing, competent, and cost-effective providers of what the professional literature calls pharmaceutical care interventions; however, internationally, there is an underuse of pharmacists for patient care and public health efforts. [from abstract]

Task-Shifting HIV Counseling and Testing Services in Zambia: the Role of Lay Counselors

The Zambia Prevention, Care and Treatment Partnership began training and placing community volunteers as lay counsellors in order to complement the efforts of the health care workers in providing HIV counselling and testing services. These volunteers are trained using the standard national counselling and testing curriculum. This study was conducted to review the effectiveness of lay counsellors in addressing staff shortages and the provision of HIV counselling and testing services. [from abstract]

Nurse-Driven, Community-Supported HIV/AIDS Treatment at the Primary Health Care Level in Rural Lesotho

A joint pilot program was launched at the primary health care level in Lesotho through which nurses were trained and empowered to assume high levels of clinical responsibility for HIV care, including ART. This nurse-driven, community-supported model of care has proven to be successful in delivering quality HIV/AIDS and TB services integrated into existing primary health care structures for a population living in remote, rural areas. [from summary]

Use of Task-Shifting to Rapidly Scale-Up HIV Treatment Services: Experiences from Lusaka, Zambia

This report describes field experiences with task shifting in Lusaka, Zambia, where a large public-sector ART program has enrolled over 71,000 HIV-infected adults and children across 19 program sites. It advocates a comprehensive, three-pronged approach to task-shifting that comprises training, on-site clinical mentoring, and continuous quality assurance. A structured approach is important so that clinical care is not compromised when clinical duties are initially shifted to less specialized health professionals. [from introduction]

Improving Provider Performance

This article provides an overview of how new research in India and Nigeria offers innovative strategies to improve health care provider performance.

Doctor Displacement: a Political Agenda or Health Care Imperative?

In the face of medical workforce shortages, governments are looking to displace doctors with alternative health care providers like nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals such as psychologists and pharmacists to relieve bottlenecks in health care delivery. Displacing doctors in this way, or role or task substitution as it is also termed, has been actively pursued in the United Kingdom and United States. How should the medical profession react to these developments? [from author]

China's Barefoot Doctor: Past, Present and Future

This document discusses China’s long struggle with rural coverage for health care through the barefoot doctors program, which was introduced as a national policy focused on quickly training paramedics to meet rural needs. [adapted from author]

Lay Workers in Directly Observed Treatement (DOT) Programmes for Tuberculosis in High Burden Settings: Should They Be Paid? A Review of Behavioural Perspectives

The current global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic has pressured health care managers, particularly in developing countries, to seek for alternative, innovative ways of delivering effective treatment to the large number of TB patients diagnosed annually. One strategy employed is direct observation of treatment for all patients. In high-burden settings innovation with this strategy has resulted into the use of lay community members to supervise TB patients during the duration of anti-TB treatment.

Task Shifting: Successes from Mozambique and Rwanda

These reports demonstratre that non-physician clinicians and nurses can take over many of the tasks in providing HIV care and treatment (including ART) in some resource-limited settings. [from author]

Task Shifting

This article defines the concept of task shifting, outlines the World Health Organization’s “Treat, Train, Retain’s” recommendations and guidelines on task shifting, gives case study examples of how task shifting can be used, defines the remaining barriers and suggests the conditions necessary for the success of task shifting.

Task Shifting in Health Care in Resource-Poor Countries

There is good evidence and compelling logic to support the principle of task shifting

Fewer Doctors and More Community Involvement to Scale Up Antiretroviral Treatment

The researchers conclude that given the HRH crisis, ART delivery models requiring much less doctor time need to be developed. Overall, there is a need to shift tasks from medical doctors to nurses and from nurses to community health workers. In particular, the patients themselves need to play an important role in the delivery of ART. The outcomes of the various scenarios are predicted. [from author]

Mid-Level Health Workers: the State of the Evidence on Programmes, Activities, Costs and Impact on Health Outcomes

This review aims to support efforts to integrate, plan and manage mid-level health workers by collating what we know about experiences with mid-level cadres in low-income countries in Africa, south-east Asia and the Pacific, regions that heavily rely on them. It interrogates the existing evidence on the evaluation of different types of mid-level workers and their impact on health outcomes and it identifies knowledge gaps. The review focuses specifically on the role of mid-level workers as independent practitioners in areas that suffer from severe shortages of professionals. [adapted from execu

Task Shifting: Considering Legal and Regulatory Barriers

There is a gross shortage of nurses, yet there is a need to provide quality care and defend patient care. Widening scope of practice is not new to all categories of nurses and given the Occupational Specific Dispensation for nurses there is a need to critically engage with these issues.

Task Shifting for Antiretroviral Treatment Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: Not a Panacea

Task shifting should not be viewed as a panacea for the human resources challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa. Rather, it must be part of an overall strategy that includes measures to increase, retain, and sustain health staff. [from author]