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Research brief

A qualitative study of the scalability and sustainability of the Village Health Worker scheme in Gombe State, Nigeria

by Deepthi Wickremasinghe

published 28 August 2018

This research brief showcases findings from the consolidation phase of the Village Health Worker scheme. A second round of qualitative data collection, for an exploratory study to understand factors that contribute to or hinder the sustainability of the scheme, took place in early 2018.

Key findings show changes that were made to the VHW scheme to increase its sustainability in the 57 wards where it is being implemented to include:

  • Introduction of Tier Two VHWS, to improve coverage of VHWs in rural communities
  • Increased involvement of Ward Development Committees in decision-making, VHW selection and supervision
  • Improved incentives to motivate and retain VHWs
  • Investigation of alternative sources of funding, beyond the end of 2018

Areas of concern for the sustainability of the VHW scheme highlighted in the research brief cover:

  • Sustaining intensified monitoring and supervision amid transport and funding challenges
  • Concerns about political sustainability of the scheme after elections in early 2019


Profile picture of Deepthi Wickremasinghe
Deepthi Wickremasinghe

Research Fellow