Malaria remains a critical global health concern despite considerable reductions in morbidity and mortality. In 2021, there were 247 million malaria cases globally, and sub-Saharan Africa bore 95% of those cases. Evidence shows that training community health workers (CHWs) to combat malaria decreases prevalence and incidence rates. However, more evidence is needed to assess the most effective training strategies. This rapid review investigated how CHWs are trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat malaria and how training impacts their knowledge, practice, and effectiveness in Africa and Asia. We used a PIIO framework to develop the search strategy, which produced 2,007 articles from the PubMed and SCOPUS databases. After de-duplication and multiple rounds of screenings, we analyzed 15 peer-reviewed articles that fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Eight studies focused on the impact of training on CHWs' knowledge and performance, and the remaining seven focused on the effectiveness of training on malaria outcomes. Training content and lengths varied across studies, and we found that seven training courses had an aspect of supervision or observation, eight incorporated job aides, six dedicated time for practice sessions, ten conducted post-training assessments, and four had refresher courses. For most courses, these common strategies were used in combination and greatly contributed to CHW's knowledge and effectiveness. For example, for the studies that taught CHWs how to use rapid diagnostic tests using job aides, supervision or practice sessions, they were able to test the blood samples with >90% specificity and sensitivity. These approaches should motivate design of future training programs.
Bangala, Joella, "Investigating the Effectiveness of Community Health Worker Training Programs for Malaria Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 508.