Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pakistan's Lady Health Worker Programme aims to provide care to children sick with pneumonia and diarrhoea, which continues to cause 27 % under-five mortality in Pakistan. The quality of supervision received by Lady Health Workers (LHWs) in the programme influence their knowledge and skills, in turn impacting their ability to provide care.

METHODS:

This study is part of an implementation research project titled "Nigraan" (an Urdu word meaning supervisor), and explores LHW and Lady Health Supervisor (LHS) perspectives regarding the role of supervision in improving LHWs performance and motivation in district Badin, Sindh, Pakistan. Their knowledge and skills regarding integrated community casemanagement (iCCM) of diarrhoea and pneumonia were also assessed. Fourteen focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews were conducted as part of this qualitative inquiry. Analysis was done using QSR NVivo version 10.

RESULTS:

Most LHWs and LHSs identified pneumonia and diarrhoea as two major causes of death among children under-five. Poverty, illiteracy, poor hygiene and lack of clean drinking water were mentioned as underlying causes of high mortality due to diarrhoea and pneumonia. LHWs and LHSs gaps in knowledge included classification of dehydration, correctly preparing ORS and prescribing correct antibiotics in pneumonia. Lack of training, delayed salaries and insufficient medicines and other supplies were identified as major factors impeding appropriate knowledge and skill development for iCCM of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia. LHWs considered adequate supervision and the presence of LHSs during household visits as a factor facilitating their performance. LHWs did not have a preference for written or verbal feedback, but LHSs considered written individual feedback to LHWs to be more useful than group and verbal feedback.

CONCLUSION:

LHWs have knowledge and skill gaps that prevent them from providing effective care for diarrhoea and pneumonia. Enhanced supportive feedback from LHSs could improve LHWs skills and performance.

Publication

BMC Health Services Research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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