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Alam K.,nter for Health and Population Research | Tasneem S.,Brac University | Oliveras E.,Pathfinder International
Health Policy and Planning | Year: 2012

Introduction Volunteer community health workers (CHWs) are one approach to addressing the health workforce shortage in developing countries. BRAC, a large NGO in Bangladesh, is a pioneer in using female volunteer CHWs as core workers in its successful health programmes. After 25 years of implementing the CHW model in rural areas, BRAC is now using CHWs in urban slums of Dhaka through Manoshi, a community-based maternal and child health project. However, high dropout rates among CHWs in the slums suggested a need to better understand factors associated with their retention, and consequently recommend strategies for increasing their retention.Methods This mixed-method study included a case-control design to assess factors relating to the retention of volunteer CHWs, and focus group discussions (FGDs) to explore solutions to problems. In total, 542 current and 146 dropout CHWs participated in the survey. Six FGDs were held with groups of current and groups of dropout CHWs.Results Financial incentives were the main factor linked to CHW retention. CHWs who joined with the expectation of income were almost twice as likely to remain as CHWs. This finding was reinforced by the inverse association between wealth quintile of the CHWs and retention; the poorest CHWs were significantly more likely to stay in the programme than the richest. However, social prestige, community approval and household responsibilities were important non-financial factors associated with CHW retention. Restructuring and expansion of existing financial incentives to better compensate CHWs were recommended by CHWs to improve their retention.Conclusions Factors found to be important in this study are similar to those from earlier studies in rural areas. While the data indicate that financial incentives are the most commonly discussed factor regarding CHW retention in urban slums, the results also suggest other avenues that could be strengthened to improve their retention. © The Author 2011; all rights reserved.


Perlman S.,Pathfinder International | Wamai R.G.,Northeastern University | Bain P.A.,Harvard University | Welty T.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Objectives: We assessed the knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine, and willingness and acceptability to vaccinate in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. We further identified countries that fulfill the two GAVI Alliance eligibility criteria to support nationwide HPV vaccination. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed studies on the knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine, and willingness and acceptability to vaccinate. Trends in Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine coverage in SSA countries from 1990-2011 were extracted from the World Health Organization database. Findings: The review revealed high levels of willingness and acceptability of HPV vaccine but low levels of knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV or HPV vaccine. We identified only six countries to have met the two GAVI Alliance requirements for supporting introduction of HPV vaccine: 1) the ability to deliver multi-dose vaccines for no less than 50% of the target vaccination cohort in an average size district, and 2) achieving over 70% coverage of DTP3 vaccine nationally. From 2008 through 2011 all SSA countries, with the exception of Mauritania and Nigeria, have reached or maintained DTP3 coverage at 70% or above. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for more education to inform the public about HPV, HPV vaccine, and cervical cancer, particularly to key demographics, (adolescents, parents and healthcare professionals), to leverage high levels of willingness and acceptability of HPV vaccine towards successful implementation of HPV vaccination programs. There is unpreparedness in most SSA countries to roll out national HPV vaccination as per the GAVI Alliance eligibility criteria for supporting introduction of the vaccine. In countries that have met 70% DTP3 coverage, pilot programs need to be rolled out to identify the best practice and strategies for delivering HPV vaccines to adolescents and also to qualify for GAVI Alliance support. © 2014 Perlman et al.


Illah E.,Pathfinder International
African journal of reproductive health | Year: 2013

Complications of childbirth and pregnancy are leading causes of death among women of reproductive age. Developing countries account for 99% of maternal deaths. The aim of this study was to explore levels, causes and risk factors associated with maternal mortality in rural Tanzania. Longitudinal data (2002-2006) from Rufiji HDSS was used where a total of 26 427 women aged 15-49 years were included in the study; 64 died and there were 15 548 live births. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess the risk factors associated with maternal deaths. MMR was 412 per 100 000 live births. The main causes of death were haemorrhage (28%), eclampsia (19%) and puerperal sepsis (8%). An increased risk of 154% for maternal death was found for women aged 30-39 versus 15-19 years (HR=2.54, 95% CI=1.001-6.445). Married women had a protective effect of 62% over unmarried ones (HR=0.38, 95% CI=0.176-0.839).


Mariam D.H.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Asnake M.,Pathfinder International
Canadian Journal of Public Health | Year: 2010

This commentary discusses the historical development, organization and activities of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), a professional civil society organization that operates on the principles of protection of public interest and professional standards in health in areas of health development in Ethiopia. The important roles played by the EPHA in health training, research and policy advocacy have been highlighted. Some of the important health system interventions that have been effected in the country through the influence and active participation of the Association have also been pointed out. As an active member of the Executive Board of the World Federation of Public Health Associations, EPHA serves as a role model for public health professional associations in the African Region with regard to increasing their influence in health policy and interventions within their respective countries. © Canadian Public Health Association, 2010. All rights reserved.


Busza J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Besana G.V.R.,University of Dar es Salaam | Mapunda P.,Pathfinder Tanzania | Oliveras E.,Pathfinder International
Reproductive Health Matters | Year: 2013

With increased access to HIV treatment throughout Africa, a generation of HIV positive children is now transitioning to adulthood while living with a chronic condition requiring lifelong medication, which can amplify the anxieties of adolescence. This qualitative study explored how adolescents in Tanzania with HIV experience their nascent sexuality, as part of an evaluation of a home-based care programme. We interviewed 14 adolescents aged 15-19 who had acquired HIV perinatally, 10 of their parents or other primary caregivers, and 12 volunteer home-based care providers who provided support, practical advice, and referrals to clinical services. Adolescents expressed unease about their sexuality, fearing that sex and relationships were inappropriate and hazardous, given their HIV status. They worried about having to disclose their status to partners, the risks of infecting others and for their own health. Thus, many anticipated postponing or avoiding sex indefinitely. Caregivers and home-based care providers reinforced negative views of sexual activity, partly due to prevailing misconceptions about the harmful effects of sex with HIV. The adolescents had restricted access to accurate information, appropriate guidance, or comprehensive reproductive health services and were likely to experience significant unmet need as they initiated sexual relationships. Care programmes could help to reduce this gap by facilitating open communication about sexuality between adolescents and their caregivers, providers, and HIV-positive peers. © 2013 Reproductive Health Matters.

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