Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Background: Despite 60% coverage by Lady Health Worker (LHW) Program, 30% of child deaths in Pakistan are still due to diarrhea and pneumonia. Caregivers are an important stakeholder yet there is little information on their case management practices and utilization of LHW Program. This study explored caregivers’ knowledge and practices about childhood diarrhea and pneumonia and utility of LHW services before and after a supportive supervision intervention. Methods: Cross sectional surveys were conducted with caregivers’ (mothers) pre and post intervention in project NIGRAAN. The intervention aimed to improve LHSs clinical and supervisory skills of lady health supervisors in order to improve LHW performance and ultimately impact caregiver practices. 4250 households were surveyed. Questionnaire was adapted from PDHS 2012-13. Differences between intervention and control groups were assessed using chi square test. P-value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results:
Comparing baseline to end line, there were significant overall improvements in caregivers’knowledge of loose motion (62 to 84%) and dehydration (12 to 18%) as signs and symptoms of childhood diarrhea. There was also a significant overall increase in caregivers’ knowledge of presenting features of pneumonia- i.e. fever (58 to 86%), cough (51 to 61%) and breathing problems (25 to 57%). The proportion of caregivers seeking advice for diarrhea from public sector significantly improved in intervention arm from 20% to 29%. Private sector however remained overall preferred choice for care seeking. There was significant overall improvement in awareness about LHWs functioning (93 to 99%) and household visits (91 to 98%). Actual care seeking from LHWs however stayed low (≤ 0.3%)
Conclusion: In order to improve utility and expand coverage of LHW Program interventions aimed at providing supportive supervision have the potential to improve caregiver practices and utilization of available services and decrease childhood deaths due to preventable illnesses.

Publication

Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education

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