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Seth A.,Princeton University | Tomar S.,Sambodhi Research and Communications Pvt. Ltd. | Singh K.,Sambodhi Research and Communications Pvt. Ltd. | Chandurkar D.,Sambodhi Research and Communications Pvt. Ltd. | And 8 more authors.
International Journal for Equity in Health | Year: 2017

Background: Uttar Pradesh (UP) accounts for the largest number of neonatal deaths in India. This study explores potential socio-economic inequities in household-level contacts by community health workers (CHWs) and whether the effects of such household-level contacts on receipt of health services differ across populations in this state. Methods: A multistage sampling design identified live births in the last 12 months across the 25 highest-risk districts of UP (N = 4912). Regression models described the relations between household demographics (caste, religion, wealth, literacy) and CHW contact, and interactions of demographics and CHW contact in predicting health service utilization (> = 4 antenatal care (ANC) visits, facility delivery, modern contraceptive use). Results: No differences were found in likelihood of CHW contact based on caste, religion, wealth or literacy. Associations of CHW contact with receipt of ANC and facility delivery were significantly affected by religion, wealth and literacy. CHW contact increased the odds of 4 or more ANC visits only among non-Muslim women, increased the odds of both four or more ANC visits and facility delivery only among lower wealth women, increased the odds of facility delivery to a greater degree among illiterate vs. literate women. Conclusion: CHW visits play a vital role in promoting utilization of critical maternal health services in UP. However, significant social inequities exist in associations of CHW visits with such service utilization. Research to clarify these inequities, as well as training for CHWs to address potential biases in the qualities or quantity of their visits based on household socio-economic characteristics is recommended. © 2017 The Author(s).

Sgaier S.K.,University of Washington | Anthony J.,Karnataka Technical Support Unit | Bhattacharjee P.,India Health Action Trust | Baer J.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Global health, science and practice | Year: 2014

Scaling up HIV prevention programming among key populations (female sex workers and men who have sex with men) has been a central strategy of the Government of India. However, state governments have lacked the technical and managerial capacity to oversee and scale up interventions or to absorb donor-funded programs. In response, the national government contracted Technical Support Units (TSUs), teams with expertise from the private and nongovernmental sectors, to collaborate with and assist state governments. In 2008, a TSU was established in Karnataka, one of 6 Indian states with the highest HIV prevalence in the country and where monitoring showed that its prevention programs were reaching only 5% of key populations. The TSU provided support to the state in 5 key areas: assisting in strategic planning, rolling out a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system, providing supportive supervision to intervention units, facilitating training, and assisting with information, education, and communication activities. This collaborative management model helped to increase capacity of the state, enabling it to take over funding and oversight of HIV prevention programs previously funded through donors. With the combined efforts of the TSU and the state government, the number of intervention units statewide increased from 40 to 126 between 2009 and 2013. Monthly contacts with female sex workers increased from 5% in 2008 to 88% in 2012, and with men who have sex with men, from 36% in 2009 to 81% in 2012. There were also increases in the proportion of both populations who visited HIV testing and counseling centers (from 3% to 47% among female sex workers and from 6% to 33% among men who have sex with men) and sexually transmitted infection clinics (from 4% to 75% among female sex workers and from 7% to 67% among men who have sex with men). Changes in sexual behaviors among key populations were also documented. For example, between 2008 and 2010, the proportion of surveyed female sex workers in 9 districts reporting that they used a condom at last intercourse rose from 60% to 68%; in 6 districts, the proportion of surveyed men who have sex with men reporting that they used a condom at last anal sex increased from 89% to 97%. The Karnataka experience suggests that TSUs can help governments enhance managerial and technical resources and leverage funds more effectively. With careful management of the working and reporting relationships between the TSU and the state government, this additional capacity can pave the way for the government to improve and scale up programs and to absorb previously donor-funded programs. © Sgaier et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are properly cited. To view a copy of the license, visit When linking to this article, please use the following

Sgaier S.K.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Gupta R.S.,Basic Services | Rao R.,Basic Services | Gaikwad A.,India Health Action Trust | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Evidence based resource allocation and decentralized planning of an effective HIV/AIDS response requires reliable information on levels and trends of HIV at national and sub-national geographic levels. HIV sentinel surveillance data from antenatal clinics (HSS-ANC) has been an important data source to assess the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India, but has a number of limitations. We assess the value of Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme data to appraise the HIV epidemic in India. Methods/Findings: HIV data from PPTCT sites were compared to HSS-ANC and general population level surveys at various geographic levels in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Chi-square tests were used to ascertain statistical significance. PPTCT HIV prevalence was significantly lower than HSS-ANC HIV prevalence (0.92% vs. 1.22% in Andhra Pradesh, 0.65% vs. 0.89% in Karnataka, 0.52% vs. 0.60% in Maharashtra, p<0.001 for all three states). In all three states, HIV prevalence from PPTCT centres that were part of the sentinel surveillance was comparable to HSS-ANC prevalence but significantly higher than PPTCT centres that were not part of the sentinel surveillance. HIV prevalence from PPTCT data was comparable to that from general population surveys. In all three states, significant declines in HIV prevalence between 2007 and 2010 were observed with the PPTCT data set. District level analyses of HIV trends and sub-district level analysis of HIV prevalence were possible using the PPTCT and not the HSS-ANC data sets. Conclusion: HIV prevalence from PPTCT may be a better proxy for general population prevalence than HSS-ANC. PPTCT data allow for analysis of HIV prevalence and trends at smaller geographic units, which is important for decentralized planning of HIV/AIDS programming. With further improvements to the system, India could replace its HSS-ANC with PPTCT programme data for surveillance. © 2012 Sgaier et al.

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