Assessment of the Readiness of Community Health Workers to Participate in a Mobile Training and Support Services Innovation: Results of a Functionality Assessment in Bo District, Sierra Leone 2018

Background: Mobile Training and Support (MOTS) service is the vehicle for delivery of refresher training on healthcare related topics. This service will provide mobile training to Community Health Workers (CHWs) via their mobile phones with feature phones as the basic requirement. The MOTS service will provide training modules via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or voice messages that include units and quizzes and allow monitoring by management. The purpose of the study was to assess the functionality of CHWs and their readiness to receive the MOTS service package.
Method and Material:
The study was a cross-sectional assessment utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods in Bo district, southern Sierra Leone found in West Africa. The tools had mixed method questions to capture both quantitative and qualitative data.
Results: The CHWs’ willingness to participate in the MOTS service was 99.2% with 79.2% mobile phone functionality. This therefore meant that 79.2% of all CHWs surveyed met the inclusion criteria for the MOTS program. With 90.6% of the Peripheral Health Unit (PHU) in-charges proving to be supervising CHWs, only 40.63% of the PHU in-charges could actually provide supervision to CHWs for the MOTS program due to the need to own a smartphone.
Utilization of the modular IVRs through the MOTS service to facilitate the refresher training to CHWs is possible. This is because from the assessment 79.2% CHWs met the inclusion criteria for MOTS. At the CHW level, the willingness to participate was rated at 99%. This coupled with a 90.6% of PHU-Incharges readiness will contribute to the success of the program.

Author(s): Geoffrey Babughirana, Monica Amponsah, Evelyn Banura, Seth Gogo Egoeh, Mohammed Samba Barrie and Robert Kanwagi

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