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Evaluation of a Home-based Community Health Worker Program in Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa

2018-05-13 16:17:11 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The purpose of this early Phase 2 comparison trial is to evaluate the impact of community health worker (CHW) home visitors on pregnant women and their children in a rural setting in the rural Eastern Cape of South Africa. The intervention provided by the CHWs targets underweight children, mothers living with HIV (MLH), mothers using alcohol, and depressed mothers with the goal of supporting pregnant women to improve birth outcomes, decrease the number of children born with a low birthweight, and develop child caretaking skills over time. UCLA has identified and matched four areas surrounding primary health care clinics: two intervention areas in which this CHW program has been running for one year, and two control areas without the program. Mothers in the research area are followed for one year after giving birth.

Description

Inequalities in the quality and accessibility of healthcare between urban centers and rural areas is a global challenge that is particularly stark for low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Maternal and child health (MCH) in rural South Africa is negatively impacted by large distances, poor infrastructure, and a shortage of healthcare workers at clinics and hospitals.

Home visiting has been repeatedly demonstrated efficacious in addressing some of these challenges and improving MCH outcomes, including when delivered by CHW in LMIC. However, there is limited research on the effectiveness of implementing these types of programs in rural areas.

The investigators have shown that with training, supervision, and accountability, CHW home visits are effective in improving MCH over the first five years of life. These results were observed in a successful randomized controlled trial conducted in peri-urban townships in Cape Town, South Africa. CHW were trained to address HIV, alcohol, and malnutrition among all pregnant women in a neighborhood, to avoid stigma, and to address multiple health challenges concurrently. The visits significantly improved MCH outcomes over five years. Based on these results, this comprehensive CHW home visiting program served as one model for re-engineering primary health care to include 65,000 paraprofessionals providing home-based care in South Africa.

This early phase two comparison trial examines whether the same comprehensive CHW home visiting program can be effectively implemented in a deeply rural area of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Two matched cohorts of women and their children, one in areas where the comprehensive CHW program has been active for one year and one in areas without the program, will be followed from pregnancy through the first 12 months after giving birth. Stellenbosch University interviewers will independently assess outcomes of each mother at pregnancy, and of the mothers and infants within two weeks of post-birth, 6 months, and 12 months later. The primary outcomes are a combined measures of maternal and child health including maternal HIV testing, depression, and alcohol use, as well as the child's nutrition, physical growth, development, and healthcare and a measure of how MLH comply with tasks for PMTCT.

Study Design

Conditions

HIV Infections

Intervention

Comprehensive CHW Program

Location

Zithulele Hospital
Mqanduli
Eastern Cape
South Africa
5080

Status

Active, not recruiting

Source

University of California, Los Angeles

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-05-13T16:17:11-0400

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