Myanmar has successfully used Community Health Workers (CHW) model in conjunction with government health facility based model to bring down the Annual Parasite Incidence (API) to less than one in several districts of the country. The country is in the transition from malaria control to elimination and currently adopted Integrated Community Malaria Volunteer model that combines services for malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other vector borne diseases. The aim of the study was to explore the perspectives, views and inputs of key health stakeholders and community members in Myanmar on community-delivered models to inform optimal design on CHW models targeting malaria elimination in Myanmar.
To obtain views of the CHW model, qualitative methods including key informant interviews and in-depth interviews of key health stakeholders and focus group discussions and participatory workshops including community leaders and members were used. Each data collection tool was pilot tested with similar participants. Inductive thematic analysis was used.
Preliminary results showed that all stakeholders agreed the CHW role is still important for malaria elimination. Their motivation and social role must be maintained and promoted by incorporating additional disease interventions prioritized as flu, diarrhoea, skin infections and Tuberculosis by the community leaders and members. Vector Borne Disease Control (VBDC) stakeholders viewed that the role of Basic Health Staff is expanding in the elimination phase while the CHW will remain in the supporting role to implement the elimination package. VBDC and Non-Government Organization stakeholders like to assign CHWs for case notification, and assisting in case and foci identifications and responses as the local resident community mobilizers.
Preliminary results suggest that CHW models will have to be modified in order to maximise achievements in malaria elimination in Myanmar. The findings of this study will provide an evidence-base for the evolution of the CHW model for malaria elimination in Myanmar.