Peer-reviewed research* was published last year asserts that trusted Community Health Workers (CHWs) that come from the communities they serve are very effective at improving maternal and newborn health outcomes. The study*, conducted in rural Kenya went on to say that women from rural villages that have a trained CHW are more likely to have a skilled attendant at their births, increasing the likelihood of survival of both mother and child.
*Adam MB, Dillmann M, Chen M-k, Mbugua S, Ndung’u J, et al. (2014) Improving Maternal and Newborn Health: Effectiveness of a Community Health Worker Program in Rural Kenya. PLoS ONE 9(8): e104027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104027