Community Health Workers and the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases Among Rural Health Clinics in Limpopo Province, South Africa: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

South Africa's rise in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and health care provider shortages has generated the need for community health workers (CHWs) in rural areas. However, roles and interactions with clinic staff are not well understood. Interviews with health care workers at community clinics in Limpopo Province revealed common themes, including resource scarcity, clinic-patient partnerships, management of NCDs, and collaboration between professionals. The data did not support CHW-physician interactions, necessitating further research to describe these practices and to evaluate CHWs' impact on patient outcomes. The CHW involvement in rural clinics is essential to patient-clinic partnerships and may help close treatment gaps in resource-poor areas.

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