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Exploring the motivations of female community health volunteers in primary healthcare provision in rural Nepal: a qualitative study.

Panday, S., van Teijlingen, E. and Barnes, A., 2024. Exploring the motivations of female community health volunteers in primary healthcare provision in rural Nepal: a qualitative study. PLOS Global Public Health. (In Press)

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Abstract

Motivating Community Health Workers (CHWs) - many of whom are volunteers - is crucial for achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) for Primary Healthcare (PHC) in resource-poor areas. In rural Nepal, PHC is mostly delivered by female CHWs, locally known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs), but little is known about them. This paper explores experiential factors influencing FCHVs’ motivations, including how motivation intersects with women’s livelihoods and consider what this means for achieving PHC in Nepal and globally. We conducted qualitative research in the hill and the Terai (flatland bordering India) areas of Nepal. Data were purposively collected through 31 semi-structured interviews (20 volunteers, 11 paid local health workers) and three focus group discussions with additional 15 volunteers. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim in Nepali and translated into English. Data were coded using NVivo10, analysed thematically at individual, organisational and community levels. FCHVs’ motivations to volunteer were affected in several ways. At the individual level, participants wanted and were committed to voluntary work, yet the opportunity costs of volunteering, out-of-pocket expenses and inadequate family support strained many of the women who were already overburdened. At the community level, perceived lack of appreciation of volunteer efforts by community members, who saw volunteers as paid health workers, undermined FCHVs motivation to volunteer. Finally, at the organizational level, a bureaucratic emphasis on recording and reporting, and lack of respect from local health workers undermined their motivation at work. Our paper illustrates how FCHVs from some of the poorest backgrounds can be highly motivated to volunteer, yet inadequate social and economic support across individual, community and health system levels undermined this motivation, the security of their livelihoods, and thus wider efforts to achieve PHC. Financial investments are needed to compensate FCHVs, to help them to remain motivated to deliver global health goals for PHC.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nepal
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:40043
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:17 Jun 2024 12:37
Last Modified:17 Jun 2024 12:37

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