Community health workers’ involvement in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Wakiso District, Uganda

Musoke, D., Atusingwize, E., Ikhile, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-4343-1674, Nalinya, S., Ssemugabo, C., Lubega, G.B., Omodara, D., Ndejjo, R. and Gibson, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-1220-8680, 2021. Community health workers’ involvement in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Wakiso District, Uganda. Globalization and Health, 17: 7. ISSN 1744-8603

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Abstract

Background
Community health workers (CHWs) are an important cadre of the global health workforce as they are involved in providing health services at the community level. However, evidence on the role of CHWs in delivering interventions for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Uganda is limited. This study, therefore, assessed the involvement of CHWs in the prevention and control of NCDs in Wakiso District, Uganda with a focus on their knowledge, attitudes and practices, as well as community perceptions.

Methods
A cross-sectional study using mixed methods was conducted which involved a structured questionnaire among 485 CHWs, and 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) among community members. The study assessed knowledge, perceptions including the importance of the various risk factors, and the current involvement of CHWs in NCDs, including the challenges they faced. Quantitative data were analysed in STATA version 13.0 while thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data.

Results
The majority of CHWs (75.3%) correctly defined what NCDs are. Among CHWs who knew examples of NCDs (87.4%), the majority mentioned high blood pressure (77.1%), diabetes (73.4%) and cancer (63.0%). Many CHWs said that healthy diet (86.2%), physical activity (77.7%), avoiding smoking/tobacco use (70.9%), and limiting alcohol consumption (63.7%) were very important to prevent NCDs. Although more than half of the CHWs (63.1%) reported being involved in NCDs activities, only 20.9 and 20.6% had participated in community mobilisation and referral of patients respectively. The majority of CHWs (80.1%) who were involved in NCDs prevention and control reported challenges including inadequate knowledge (58.4%), lack of training (37.6%), and negative community perception towards NCDs (35.1%). From the FGDs, community members were concerned that CHWs did not have enough training on NCDs hence lacked enough information. Therefore, the community did not have much confidence in them regarding NCDs, hence rarely consulted them concerning these diseases.

Conclusions
Despite CHWs having some knowledge on NCDs and their risk factors, their involvement in the prevention and control of the diseases was low. Through enhanced training and community engagement, CHWs can contribute to the prevention and control of NCDs, including health education and community mobilisation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Globalization and Health
Creators: Musoke, D., Atusingwize, E., Ikhile, D., Nalinya, S., Ssemugabo, C., Lubega, G.B., Omodara, D., Ndejjo, R. and Gibson, L.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 7 January 2021
Volume: 17
ISSN: 1744-8603
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1186/s12992-020-00653-5DOI
1398857Other
Rights: © The Author(s) This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 19 Feb 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2021 15:27
Related URLs:
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42339

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