Perceptions of individuals in Umlazi on the quality of care provided by community health workers.
Mpanza, Ziphezinhle Londeka Precious.
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CHW programs should be developed in such that they are suitable for the local community. It is necessary to understand the perceptions about CHWs in the local context. The main objective of the qualitative research was to examine the community perceptions of the quality of care provided by CHWs based on a qualitative case study in the community of UMlazi BB Township. The study was conducted among 12 participants who are permanent residents of UMlazi BB Township and who had previous interactions with CHWs. The participants were selected through randomly visiting households and presenting the research requirements to the participants. In depth interview guide was used as a research instrument and the voice recorder was used to capture the verbal responses of the participants. The researcher collected data at the household of each participant and transcribed the voice recordings into textual data. The textual data was analyzed to find relevant themes that established the community perceptions of CHWs, the quality of care by CHWs and recommendations from the community. The research found that the long-term perceptions of CHWs was that they demonstrated empathy by being patient and caring for the health and wellbeing of the community members. CHWs were found to be reliable as community members perceived them as being trustworthy, dedicated and persistent. The quality of care was mainly affected by tangible aspects such as resources and it was found that CHWs did not have enough of these resources. Overall, the research found that it is important for CHWs to engage with communities to strengthen their trust and reliability, to develop strategies of optimal use of limited resources, and to continually improve their knowledge and social skills.