The Community Health Worker Model: A Grass-Roots Approach for Measles Prevention in Refugee Camps

Kristina Baier, Raywat Deonandan

Abstract


ABSTRACT

Syria’s protracted civil war has resulted in massive population movements into refugee camps. Such movements, in conjunction with lower vaccination rates, potentiate infectious disease outbreaks. Measles transmission is a continuous threat in refugee camps, and a sustainable approach to providing preventative medicine in camps is warranted. The community health worker model can be used to identify unvaccinated persons, detect probable cases and refer individuals to health clinics within the camps for prophylaxis and medi­cal care, respectively. Through this grass-roots approach, community health workers become an on-the-ground surveillance system that can determine demographic trends and facilitate public health responses to potential outbreaks.

 

RÉSUMÉ

L’interminable guerre civile en Syrie a entraîné des déplacements massifs de population vers des camps de réfugiés. De tels mouve­ments de population, en concomitance avec de plus faibles taux de vaccination, accroissent les risques de flambées épidémiques. La transmission de la rougeole est une menace continue dans les camps de réfugiés, et une solution durable dans l’administration de médecine préventive dans ces camps est justifiée. Le modèle des agents de santé communautaires peut être adopté pour identifier les personnes non vaccinées, détecter les cas probables et adresser ces individus aux cliniques de santé des camps pour qu’ils puissent y recevoir de la prophylaxie et des soins médicaux, respectivement. Grâce à cette approche locale, les agents de santé communautaires forment un système de surveillance sur le terrain qui permet de déterminer les tendances démographiques et de faciliter les interven­tions de santé publique contre les épidémies potentielles.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18192/uojm.v6i2.1804

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