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Challenging El Salvador's rural health care strategy, Volume 1
Author:Lewis, Maureen; Eskeland, Gunnar S.; Traa-Valerezo, Ximena; Country:El Salvador;
Date Stored:2001/04/25Document Date:1999/08/31
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Regional Rural Development; Housing & Human Habitats; Health Systems Development & Reform; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Public Health Promotion; Early Child and Children's Health; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:(Historic)Health, Nutrition & Population
Region:Latin America & CaribbeanReport Number:WPS2164
Sub Sectors:Primary Health, Including Reproductive Health, ChiCollection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 2164
Volume No:1  

Summary: Can a supply-driven network of under-skilled rural health promoters make a difference in rural health care? There are few, if any, signs that the current rural health strategy in El Salvador is working, whether the health promoters are government employees or non-governmental organization (NGO) workers. The authors arrived at this conclusion after conducting interviews and analyzing primary and secondary data. The village-based health promoters lack incentives and supervision, and ultimately have little to offer to local communities. NGO workers are more successful than government workers, but neither group performs satisfactorily. Even the rural poor use private services quite intensively, despite the high cost of the services and of getting access to them. Moreover, people seem to seek the services they need. They select self-treatment in 50 percent of illness episodes, with about the same success rate as when they use health providers. Other options should be considered, as results can be improved without increasing costs.

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