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    Community health workers (CHWs) are key to implementing community-based health interventions and quality can be enhanced by better understanding their lived experiences. The WASH Benefits, Bangladesh trial engaged 540 female CHWs to promote varying health intervention packages. We report on factors influencing their lived experiences during the trial, to aid future recruitment, training and retention of CHWs. Nine focus groups and 18 in-depth interviews were conducted with CHWs. Focus groups and interviews were transcribed and thematic content analysis performed to summarize the results. All CHWs described experiencing positive working conditions and many benefits both socially and financially; these contributed to their retention and job satisfaction. Their honorarium was commonly applied towards their children's education and invested for income generation. CHWs gained self-confidence as women, to move unaccompanied in the community and speak in public. They earned respect from the community and their family members who helped them manage their family obligations during work and were viewed as a resource for advice on health and social issues. Many participated in family decision-making from which they were previously excluded. Health programs should foster a positive experience among their CHWs to aid the recruitment, retention and development of this important human resource.


    Mahbubur Rahman, Tania Jahir, Farzana Yeasmin, Farzana Begum, Mosammot Mobashara, Khobair Hossain, Rizwana Khan, Rezwana Hossain, Fosiul Alam Nizame, Anika Jain, Elli Leontsini, Leanne Unicomb, Stephen P Luby, Peter J Winch. The Lived Experiences of Community Health Workers Serving in a Large-Scale Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Intervention Trial in Rural Bangladesh. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Mar 25;18(7)

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    PMID: 33805884

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