Supporting CHWs to connect with communities in rural South Africa during COVID-19

During 2020, we adapted the VAPAR programme in consultation with local communities and health officials to make practical contributions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We initiated dialogue between community stakeholders involved in the process and CHWs and through this process developed three overarching aims:


  1. Contribute to the development of capacities supporting CHWs and district health system stakeholders to conduct rapid research on local health issues with participatory methods;

  2. Facilitate use of evidence in routine PHC planning and review, providing timely data on burden of disease, the human experience of that burden, and on feasible local action;

  3. Further develop multisectoral engagement supporting community responses addressing social determinants.

In this blog for CHW Central, we report on how we have adapted our process to support CHWs to connect with communities, generating and taking evidence to those who organise and provide health and other public services, and working at different levels to understand and enable change.

© 2018 VAPAR/Wits/DoH Mpumalanga


The research is supported by the Health Systems Research Initiative from Department for International Development (DFID)/ Medical Research Council (MRC)/ Wellcome Trust/ Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (MR/N005597/1, MR/P014844/1)