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Community Contribution

Strengthening Community Health Teams (CHT) Facilitators' Knowledge on Digitalization

Ahmad Kayumov, Sarah Romorini

In Tajikistan, women and children have benefited from the country's commitment and strengthened capacity to improve maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH); however, the country continues to have some of the highest rates of maternal and child mortality and of stunting, wasting, and underweight children in Central Asia. The Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby (HMHB) Activity builds on USAID's prior work including, Tajikistan Health and Nutrition Activity (THNA). HMHB pursues its goal to improve the nutritional status and prevent morbidity and mortality of mothers and children under two and improve the quality and availability of lifesaving, evidence-based health interventions for women and children in the Feed the Future Zone of Influence (FTF ZOI) in Khatlon Region of Tajikistan.

Recognizing the importance of an adaptive management approach in an evolving environment like Tajikistan, HMHB emphasized the need for rapid change analysis cycles to support evidence-based decision-making, ensure responsiveness, and foster a culture of learning. The HMHB Team integrated iterative reflection, learning, and strategy-testing processes to plan for scenarios that may arise.

Strengthening local MEL capabilities is a key HMHB opportunity. Low digital literacy, especially in rural areas, and high staff turnover have posed challenges to initiate digitalization among healthcare workers (HCW). Integrating data for decision-making into local facility and community health teams (CHT) processes required substantial effort and a change in behavior and approach. HMHB trained newly formed CHTs and local HCW, who are directly engaged in CHT activities, on using data for decision-making and ensuring replicable and scalable processes. CHTs, in the name of affiliated to them facilitators, were digitally equipped with mobile phones and trained on digital data collection tools.

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