Effects of timed and targeted counselling by community health workers on maternal and household practices, and pregnancy and newborn outcomes in rural Uganda

Geoffrey Babughirana*, Sanne Gerards, Alex Mokori, Isaac Charles Baigereza, Allan Baba Magala, Richard Kwikiriza, Victo Alum, Doreen Mukiza, Stef Kremers, Jessica Gubbels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Pregnancy and birth-related complications claim the lives of millions of women and newborns every year. Improving their survival chances remains an urgent global challenge, including in Uganda. Community health workers (CHWs) play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the community and the official health system in Uganda. Timed and targeted Counselling (ttC) is an individual-level behavioral change communication method used by CHWs, aimed at pregnant women and caregivers of children under the age of two. Aim: This study examined whether the implementation of the ttC intervention by the CHWs was associated with improved household practices and outcomes during the pregnancy and newborn period. Methods: A multi-stage sampling technique was employed with a total of 749 participants in the intervention group (ttC intervention), and 744 participants in the control group (no ttC). Data on quality of maternal and household antenatal care (ANC) and essential newborn care (ENC) practices, as well as on pregnancy and newborn outcomes were collected through questionnaires from May 2018 to May 2020. McNemar's Chi-square tests were used to compare outcomes before and after implementation, and between the intervention and control group. Results: Results showed that, compared to baseline, ttC contributed significantly to the demand for quality of service during ANC, ENC and partner involvement in maternal and newborn health. In comparison to the control group, the ttC group showed significantly higher early ANC attendance rates and higher quality of ANC and ENC. Conclusion: ttC is a comprehensive, goal-driven approach that seems to contribute to the improvement of quality of maternal and household practices, and pregnancy and newborn outcomes in Uganda. Trial registration: PACTR, PACTR202002812123868, registered on 25 February 2020, http://www.pactr.org/P ACTR202002812123868.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100845
Number of pages9
JournalSexual & Reproductive Healthcare
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Antenatal care
  • Community health workers
  • Essential newborn care
  • Newborn survival
  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • Timed and targeted Counselling

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