Can the Timed and Targeted Counseling Model Improve the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Care? A Process Analysis in the Rural Hoima District in Uganda

G. Babughirana*, S. Gerards, A. Mokori, I.C. Baigereza, A. Mukembo, G. Rukanda, S.P.J. Kremers, J. Gubbels

*Corresponding author for this work

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Each year, more than half a million women die worldwide from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and nearly 4 million newborns die within 28 days of birth. In Uganda, 15 women die every single day from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, 94 babies are stillborn, and 81 newborn babies die. Cost-effective solutions for the continuum of care can be achieved through Village Health Teams to improve home care practices and health care-seeking behavior. This study aims at examining the implementation of the timed and targeted counseling (ttC) model, as well as improving maternal and newborn health care practices. We conducted a quantitative longitudinal study on pregnant mothers who were recruited on suspicion of the pregnancy and followed-up until six weeks post-delivery. The household register was the primary data source, which was collected through a secondary review of the ttC registers. All outcome and process variables were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study enrolled 616 households from 64 villages across seven sub-counties in Hoima district with a 98.5% successful follow-up rate. Over the course of the implementation period of ttC, there was an increase of 29.6% in timely 1st antenatal care, 28.7% in essential newborn care, 25.5% in exclusive breastfeeding, and 17.5% in quality of antenatal care. All these improvements were statistically significant. The findings from this study show that the application of the ttC model through Village Health Teams has great potential to improve the quality of antenatal and newborn care and the health-seeking practices of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in rural communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4410
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • maternal and newborn health
  • timed and targeted counselling
  • Village Health Teams
  • antenatal care

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