The Journal of Community Health Management


Outworn or forgotten: Time and motion study of male multipurpose health workers from South India


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Author Details: Neha Dwivedi, Pradeep Deshmukh, Samiksha Singh, Amol Dongre, Deepak Dey, Vijay Kumar, Sanjeev Upadhy

Volume : 4

Issue : 4

Online ISSN : 2394-2738

Print ISSN : 2394-272X

Article First Page : 156

Article End Page : 163


Abstract

Introduction: In India, there is a critical shortage of frontline health staff while requirements for new programs are increasing. Role of by male-multipurpose health workers (MPHWs) is less specified.
Materials & Methods: A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted in South-India to examine the time utilization and various factors affecting it. We directly observed six male-MPHWs for six continuous days using time and motion approach followed by interviews of participants and officials. We analysed quantitative data for time spent per male-MPHW and qualitative data by thematic content analysis and computed Smith’s score.
Results: Male-MPHWs spent median 7.5 hours in a day, which includes three hours on total travel on any day. They spent median 5.4 hours on job and, excluding within field travel they spent median 4.2 hours on actual work per day. They spent median 16.6 hours per week on programmatic activities, 5.0 hours on programme support and 6.1 hours in other activities. Male-MPHWs were mostly involved in programs on communicable diseases, seasonal diseases, non-communicable diseases. Male-MPHWs helped female-MPHWs in outreach activities and special health camps. Support from coworkers and supervisors was mentioned as facilitating factors. The adhoc and non-standardised nature of their work and, absence of recognition and incentives were impeding factors.
Conclusion: Male-MPHW provided services for only limited components of health programs and they stay largely underutilized. Amidst critical shortage of community health workers (CHWs), especially male-MPHWs, it is required to devise optimal interventions with proactive policy to define specific roles and better utilize them in health service delivery.

Keywords: Male frontline health workers, Health manpower, Multi-purpose health worker, MPHW, Time and motion study, India.