Community Health Workers: Effective & Efficient Healthcare Solution, with Dr. Prabhjot Singh

Prabhjot Singh, CGSD’s Director of Systems Design, was featured in last week’s The Academic Minute, a daily radio program on WAMC which invites academic experts from a range of disciplines to share their research. During the program, Prabhjot addressed how the US, with its exorbitant healthcare costs, could look to certain practices in the developing world to improve efficiency — specifically, deploying community health workers. Program excerpt:

“Across underserved areas where doctors and nurses are scarce, community health workers are already a vital link between household and health systems…For example, for a child with a fever, a worker can confirm a case of malaria with a rapid diagnostic test, and if positive, administer the proper medicine, while alerting the local clinic for follow-up support with a mobile phone….Even though Community Health Workers have been around for 40 years in countries as varied as Brazil, Nigeria and India, the convergence of management systems, diagnostic and mobile technology, and political leadership is minting a new generation of community health systems.”

Most of the causes of child death in developing countries are common and preventable, and CHWs can test, treat and/or refer many of these cases. CHWs improve accessibility to healthcare providers and have seen success in areas with limited resources and health professional shortages.

Community Health Worker Deborah Adjei Checks Up On Baby Abina. Photo via Millennium Promise.

Could it work in the US? Listen to the full podcast here.


  • Yulia says:

    Pretty simply health care is more than extremely expensive. Just routine testing which should be done on a yearly basis is very necessary in preventative care and at the same time very expense without health care insurance coverage. I work in a Laboratory and do the billing. It’s incredible! Even if you have a health care plan that requires such things as deductibles and co pays and employee contribution, it still is worth every penny when you are ill and need medical treatment. Of course there are a ton of variety of plans out there that cater to different needs. Therefore it is always wise to do your research if your employer gives you options in health care plans to choose from.

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