Fulfillment at the frontlines of healthcare delivery: Enhancing a sense of purpose among Frontline Health Workers delivering care to women and children in under-served communities in Sindh, Pakistan

TWCF0711

Director: Subhash Chandir

Institution: IRD Pakistan (PVT.) Limited

Co-Director: Anokhi Ali Khan

Institution: IRD Pakistan (PVT.) Limited

A project directed by Subhash Chandir, Global Health Delivery Director, Maternal & Child Health at IRD Pakistan, seeks to generate evidence about the importance of character virtue development among Frontline Health Workers (FHWs) by developing a training module grounded in indigenous conceptualizations of purpose. 

FHWs are often the first and only point of contact for vulnerable communities seeking essential health services in  Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs.). Despite FHWs’ lifesaving work, there is chronic under-investment in their well-being, flourishing, and character strengths. The COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified the burden on FHWs and substantially increased their stress and exhaustion.

In Pakistan, FHWs are central to reducing high maternal and child mortality rates. FHWs provide door-to-door maternal and child health services to all, including vulnerable communities in otherwise inaccessible and dangerous areas, where life-threatening violence against them is common.

Without thriving FHWs, Pakistan’s maternal and child health goals are unachievable. However, no efforts are made to help them cope with their extensively documented work-related challenges. This project aims to strengthen FHWs by assisting them to reconnect with their sense of purpose, thereby enhancing their capacity to deliver high-quality and empathetic care to Pakistan's most vulnerable people. An enhanced understanding of purpose among FHWs will augment their well-being and performance, ultimately contributing to improved outcomes. The team will develop and test an interactive purpose module that builds on positive psychology, public health, and character development while utilizing local cultural resources. Results will be documented in a published research paper, policy brief, social media posts, and short stories.

This project will help to address the shortage of research on the impact of strengthening character virtues in the health sector and contribute to scholarly literature on indigenous conceptualizations of purpose.

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