The Community Health Worker: Forty Years of Experience of an Integrated Primary Rural Health Care System in Brazil


  • Nancy Rice-Marquez,

  • Timothy D. Baker,

  • Corinha Fischer

  • *This research was conducted through the cooperation of Fundacao SESP of Brazil and the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University. It was funded by the Primary Health Care Operations Research Project (PRICOR), supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development; Cooperative agreement No. DSPE-5920-A-1048–00. This article does not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of the sponsors. Reprint requests should be sent to: Professor T.D. Baker, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


ABSTRACT: This article presents one aspect of a highly successful, but surprisingly little known, rural health program in Brazil. Information on the selection, training, supervision, productivity, coverage, costs, and quality of care of their Visitadoras, a type of Community Health Worker, should be of utility to rural health planners and managers in other countries.