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People-centred public health$
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Jane South, Judy White, and Mark Gamsu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305316

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.001.0001

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Lay health workers in practice

Lay health workers in practice

(p.30) (p.31) Three Lay health workers in practice
People-centred public health

Jane South

Judy White

Mark Gamsu

Policy Press

This chapter gives an overview of the history of lay health workers and the diversity of current practice. It examines how the concept of community health workers originated in the 1970s as part of a holistic approach to primary health care. International case studies are used to illustrate the traditions that have since emerged in both the global South and North America. Lessons learnt from programme implementation highlight the importance of community ownership and supportive health systems. In the UK an increasing emphasis on self care and health prevention has led to several major initiatives, including the Expert Patient Programme, health trainers and community health champions. The chapter also considers independent social action on health and how this relates to more professionally directed programmes.

Keywords:   community health workers, primary health care, health system, health trainers, health champions, social action

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