Community health workers’ sex and variation in uptake of malaria in pregnancy services in Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Ebonyi members of Integrated Health Data Management Team (IHDTM) providing mentorship to HCWs during RDQA visit to Akpaka

Bartholomew Odio et al. work with CHWs who promote community delivery of intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women in Ebonyi State, Nigeria for the UNITAID/Jhpiego TiPToP Project. They shared below some of their findings from the virtual 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene this week. (Photos are from Bright Orji)

In Nigeria, malaria remains a high burden disease and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable. According to the 2019, World Malaria Report only 31% of pregnant women received the World Health

CHWs at data validation meeting during COVID 19 pandemic social distancing

Organization recommended minimum of three doses of IPTp with Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) compared to 17% in Nigeria (DHS, 2018). In order to expand the coverage of this life-saving intervention, the Transforming Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Optimal Pregnancy project engaged community health workers (CHWs) to introduce the delivery of community IPTp (C-IPTp) to eligible pregnant women, in addition to women being able to access IPTp at antenatal care in Ohaukwu district of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Community meeting in Bosso

As findings from studies in Nepal and Uganda showed that the sex of CHWs were correlated with uptake of iCCM services, we examined routine project data to determine if the sex of the CHWs was correlated with uptake of IPTp. Of the 462 CHWs selected, 49% were male and 51% were female and were deployed at a ratio of one CHW to 27 pregnant women. All CHWs were trained on early identification of pregnant women, referral to antenatal care and provision of C-IPTp using SP.

A trained data analyst extracted routine data from the national community health management information system for 13,733 pregnant women who received IPTp from CHWs between June and November 2019. Data abstracted included CHW sex and number of PW that received IPTp. Findings showed that female CHWs distributed 60% of IPTp1, 65% IPTp2, and 61% IPTp3 (p-value=0.00 for all comparisons). The data suggest that trained female CHWs may reach more pregnant women than their male counterparts in community directed IPTp interventions.

Authors and Affiliations

Bartholomew Odio(1), Onyinye Udenze(1), Chinyere Nwani(1), Herbert Onuoha(1), Elizabeth Njoku(1), Lawrence Nwankwo(2), Oniyire Adetiloye(1), Bright Orji(1) 1.Jhpiego, Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria, 2.State Ministry of Health, Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria. This is part of the TiPToP Project funded by UNITAID.

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