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The Ministry of Health is set to reduce the number of community health workers (CHWs) from 58,567 to 35,000 in rural areas.

The reduction comes due to new reforms that the ministry is carrying out in community health based on a study carried out over the past five years.

The program that brings new health services to be provided by CHWs such as HIV, non-communicable mental illnesses and first aid, among others, will start this exercise.

Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said that “in most cases we have community health workers aged 60 and over who cannot perform well, recruitment of people aged 21 to 45 will facilitate the provision of services”.

Ngamije added that the government needs a new generation of CHWs as there is a plan to digitize the daily work of CHWs, train them and equip them with integrated skills to provide comprehensive health service.

“That is why we had a reform because the study gives clear indications on the structure of CHWs at the village level as well as the criteria for recruiting new health workers considering their motivation, retention and their pay,” he said.

Theopista Kabuten, Technical Officer for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health at the World Health Organization, said CHWs contribute globally to delivering health services and improving health. access to health services towards universal health coverage.

“We are looking at different options for CHWs, for example what interventions they may be willing to offer and how can we support them to deliver the services planned to improve access to communities.”

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