Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World



Community Health Workers in Action: Mingo County, West Virginia

Clayton Velicer, MPH

In our recent two part blog, we discussed the Institute of Medicine’s recent position paper on Community Health Workers (CHWs) that outlined some of the current challenges facing the CHW workforce and recommendations for steps moving forward. In this blog, we zoom in to the ground level in Mingo County, West Virginia, which has a great CHW program recently featured in AADE In Practice (American Association of Diabetes Educators).
The Mingo County Diabetes Coalition
Mingo County, in rural Appalachia, is categorized by many generations of family living in the same area, resulting in a strong bond with the land as well as the extended family. Diabetes is a major health concern in Mingo County where 13.1% of adults are living with the disease.

To address this problem, the county received supported from the CDC and the Appalachian Regional Commission to organize physical activity and healthy eating programs. The project received additional funding from the…


Impact of Integrated Healthcare on Social Support for Patients with Co-Morbid HIV and Chronic Illness in South Africa

Jewels Rhode is a second year MPH student in the Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill.

For her practicum last summer, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked with the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) on examining the treatment and disease experiences of people with co-morbid HIV and chronic illness.
The Issue
There are about 6.4 million people living with HIV in South Africa (Shisana et al., 2014). South Africa has the largest public sector antiretroviral (ART) program in the world, providing HIV treatment to 2.4 million children and adults living with HIV (32% of the population) (Shisana et al., 2014). As a result of their expansive ART program, South Africans are now living longer with HIV; however, the success of this program has introduced a new health concern with the rise of co-morbid HIV and chronic illnesses (Bradshaw, Steyn, Levitt, & Nojilana, 2014).

About 16.5% of South…


Comparing Diabetes Support in 3 Countries

Clayton Velicer, MPH

Our website has frequently promoted peer support and community health worker programs around the world including programs in Afghanistan, China, Australia, and India.

In this week’s blog, we discuss the findings from a recent article that compares the peer-led MoPoTsyo program in Cambodia with diabetes support programs in two other low- and medium- income countries (DR Congo and Philippines).
DR Congo
The program in Kinshasa, DR Congo includes 80 primary care centers (called Kin-Reseau) that deliver diabetes care as part of its basic package. The program was founded 40 years ago by a missionary doctor that trained the health center staff to decentralize care. The centers offer a weekly health center visit and bi-monthly medical consultation by a trained doctor that includes glucose and blood pressure measurements and foot care. Medicines are offered at subsidized rates and patients on insulin receive their injections at the health center with a nurse’s…

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