The role and performance of Thai community health workers (CHW) - known as Village Health Volunteer (VHV) and Village Health Communicator (VHC) - can only be fully understood in the context of Thai Primary Health Care policy. During the almost two decades of implementation the Thai PHC Programme has not only produced a large number of VHCs and VHVs all over the country, but also has introduced various community organization strategies which, directly or indirectly, have affected the role and performance of the two types of community health workers.
The objectives of this chapter are twofold. First, to provide an overview of the evolution of the Thai PHC Programme in which the VHV/VHC scheme is embedded. Second, to describe and analyze the role and performance of the VHV and VHC and Village Drug Funds (VDFs) from a macro-perspective. Relevant policy literature will be reviewed to serve the first purpose. Survey data from field visits and mailed questionnaires, as well as results of previous studies, will be used to attain the second objective.