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Pakistan Lady Health Worker Program


Program overview

As part of the government of Pakistan’s National Program and Primary Health Care, a program that intended to provide health education, promote healthy behaviors, supply family planning methods, and provide basic curative services was started in 1994.


Full project description: 

Pakistan Lady Health Worker Program

The program participants, all females, and thus called Lady Health Workers (LHWs), had the duties of monitoring the health of pregnant women, monitoring the growth and immunization status of women, and promoting family planning in their working communities. All the women (usually ages 20-50) were expected to have an 8th grade education, and be a permanent resident of her work site. 

They were given health care training on the basics of primary health care through classroom and clinical practice, and are also given a refresher course monthly. The program covers approximately one third of the target population, and overall indicators of the population showed slightly better health than the national average.

Family Planning components of the Lady Health Worker Program

LHWs Workers were all provided a kit full of essential medical supplies to carry out their duties, including contraceptive pills and condoms. LHWs distribute these condoms, as well as the pills to eligible couples in their communities in addition to providing information about proper use and possible side effects of birth control. 

They are also able to provide information and referrals to clients that are seeking IUD insertions, contraceptive surgeries, or injectables to the nearest government or NGO facility. The LHWs also keep records of their clients, and, for example, track the use of family planning methods by women in the community. They also hold community development meanings in which they discuss how having good health is important, and for example, discussing the benefits of family planning and how it can contribute to better quality of life. 

This program has achieved modern contraceptive usage of 20%.

Family Planning services and products provided in the field

According to the 2010 report by the Global Health Workforce Alliance [1], Lady Health Workers provide general counselling on family planning and administer oral contraceptives. They also provide more specialized counselling on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, as well as counselling on the use of contraceptives. They provide condoms and oral contraceptives, but do not provide depo injections or information regarding the Lactation Amenorrheic Method. They provide referrals for long acting and permanent methods of family planning.

Website: Pakistan's Lady Health Worker Programme Global Health Workforce Alliance,

World Health Organization, Case study

Global Health Workforce Alliance. Global Experience of Community Health Workers for Delivery of Health Related Millennium Development Goals: A Systematic Review, Country Case Studies, and Recommendations for Integration into National Health Systems. Geneva: WHO; 2010. 

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