Box 6.1Community Health Programs in Three Countries

A sense of the potential effect of community-based programs can be seen in the prevalence of children age 2 who are underweight in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Of the three countries, Thailand has been the most successful in implementing a community-based health program. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health spent approximately US$11 per beneficiary per year mobilizing a network of volunteer supervisors and volunteer community workers that included about 1 percent of the population. While the proportion of underweight children is influenced by a variety of societal and individual factors, the rapid reduction in the share of underweight children in Thailand that coincided with the introduction of this community-based program shows that it contributed to this effect. By contrast, Indonesia's national village program spent somewhat less (about US$2 to US$11 per child per year) and depended heavily on supplementing food. It had some impact, but it was slower and less consistent. Finally, the Philippines started a national program that was not fully implemented, spending only US$0.40 per child per year in targeted areas.

Underweight prevalence among children showed little improvement during this period.

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From: Chapter 6, Providing Interventions

Cover of Priorities in Health
Priorities in Health.
Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors.
Washington (DC): World Bank; 2006.
Copyright © 2006, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank Group.

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