Community health workers (CHWs) are increasingly being identified as a potential vehicle for strengthening community-based care, especially for maternal, newborn and child health. It is estimated that globally there are currently more than 40 million CHWs, and there have been recent calls for one million CHWs in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015.
The Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project was established in 1979 by Dr Ingrid le Roux in the ‘informal’ settlements on the outskirts of Cape Town as an intervention to prevent malnutrition, rehabilitate underweight children and promote good health. This programme has as one of its core components the idea that communities are best placed to solve their own problems and that community participation in health care decisions is essential. This case study analyses what the Philani experience has to offer in terms of lessons to overcome the significant obstacles to holistic and equitable health care delivery that exist in South Africa and elsewhere.
Case Study Reports
Maternal mental health in the context of community-based home visiting in a re-engineered primary health care system: A case study of the Philani Mentor Mothers Programme
This document examines a case study of the Philani Mentor Mothers Programme - a maternal mental health intervention in South Africa. Specifically, it describes the context of global health, mental health in South Africa, and a case study of a generalist health intervention (with a maternal mental health component) by a South African NGO, Philani, within the current fluid South African health system. It analyses what the Philani experience has to offer in terms of lessons to overcome the significant obstacles to holistic and equitable health care delivery that exist in South Africa and elsewhere.
Professor Mark Tomlinson on maternal mental health in South Africa
On 12 June 2014, Professor Mark Tomlinson presented the maternal mental health case study to DFID health advisors. The interview below gives an overall summary of the case study.