Community Health Toolkit

Developing a tool to calculate PPE needs for CHWs during the COVID-19 response

With the support of developers from around the world during the COVID-19 Global Hackathon, we developed a new PPE for CHWs Calculator tool to help NGOs, governments, and other partners calculate and plan for PPE needs for CHWs in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak

Problem: There is an urgent need to plan for and distribute PPE to all health workers, especially frontline community health workers, especially in countries with the weakest health systems. We need the best possible projections of supply needs for CHWs to best serve their communities while also protecting themselves.

Challenge: Build a model that uses available data and PPE use protocol to project needs at the NGO catchment area using number of households and number of CHWs as key inputs. If there’s time, make it adaptable based on changing assumptions and resource availability.

We used Partners In Health model estimating that one set of Personal Protective Equipment (mask, shield, gloves, gown) costs about $10.

The preliminary version of this tool is here and we welcome feedback, suggestions, and next steps from our community!

Follow this link to learn more about the COVID-19 Global Hackathon. The source code for this tool is publicly available, thanks to the support of our main developer, Josiah Bryan.


We are excited to see the work that @Carey_Westgate and others at CHIC / CHAP are doing to expand on the logic used in this early MVP for calculating PPE needs for CHWs!

Thanks, @helenelizabeth. We are making progress and hope to share some preliminary figures by Friday. Right now, we are validating country-specific assumptions around CHW activities (type, frequency, etc.). So grateful to have amazing thought partners at Medic Mobile!!


Thanks so much, @Carey_Westgate for this update! Looking forward to sharing progress on this work here :slight_smile: