The experiences of community health workers affected by COVID-19 during the outbreak in South Africa

This qualitative study explores the meaning and impact of COVID-19 and its care and outbreak control measures.

Project period

01 June 2020 – 30 June 2022

Project Summary

In 2020 SOPH began a review of the role of community-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Cape Province, South Africa, as part of a wider review of public health responses led by the provincial health department.  Linked to the SAMRC HSSU Research Unit, this work is part of a larger study to be conducted in 2021 with community health workers (CHWs) who are employed by non-governmental organisations in Cape Town, as well as the nurse co-ordinators and managers who work with them. Based on the lived experiences of CHWs working as frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Cape Town, the larger study will explore the meaning and impact of COVID-19 and its care and outbreak control measures.

The CHW study seeks to obtain data on the plurality of experiences, practices, and ideas. These will be captured through an in-depth inquiry with four key stakeholder groups, each comprising a broad spectrum of participants, namely public health responders, frontline healthcare workers, community action networks and people with COVID-19.

This nested study is part of a larger project – led by the University of Cape Town in collaboration with Stellenbosch University, the Western Cape Department of Health, and North-West University Potchefstroom

Partners and Collaborators

  • University of Cape Town
  • Western Cape Department of Health
  • Stellenbosch University
  • North-West University Potchefstroom