[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Community health workers (CHWs) perform a range of important tasks; however, limited evidence is available regarding the association between their workload and the quality of care they provide.
To analyze the quality of preventive and curative care provided by two groups of CHWs with different workloads in southern Bangladesh.
One group of CHWs provided preventive care in addition to implementing community case management (CCM) of acute respiratory infection and diarrhea, and another group additionally treated severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Preventive care was measured by case management observation at a routine household visit. Curative care was measured by case scenarios. Qualitative methods were used to contextualize CHWs' performance by examining their perceptions of challenges related to their workload. A total of 338 CHWs were assessed.
CHWs managing cases of SAM worked significantly more hours than the other group (16.7 +/- 6.9 hours compared with 13.3 +/- 4.6 hours weekly, p < .001) but maintained quality of care on curative and preventive work tasks. Effectively treating cases of SAM appeared to motivate CHWs.
This was one of the first trials adding the treatment of SAM to a CHW workload and suggests that adding SAM to a well-trained and supervised CHW's workload, including preventive and curative tasks, does not necessarily yield lower quality of care. However, increased workloads had consequences for CHWs' domestic life, and further increases in workload may not be possible without additional incentives.
Food and nutrition bulletin 12/2012; 33(4):273-87. · 1.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective malaria case-management based on artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and parasitological diagnosis is a major pillar within the 2007-2012 National Malaria Strategic Plan in the Sudan. Three years after the launch of the strategy a health facility survey was undertaken to evaluate case-management practices and readiness of the health facilities and health workers to implement a new malaria case-management strategy.
A cross-sectional, cluster sample survey was undertaken at public health facilities in 15 states of Sudan. Data were collected using quality-of-care assessment methods. The main outcomes were the proportions of facilities with ACTs and malaria diagnostics; proportions of health workers exposed to malaria related health systems support activities; and composite and individual indicators of case-management practices for febrile outpatients stratified by age, availability of ACTs and diagnostics, use of malaria diagnostics, and test result.
We evaluated 244 facilities, 294 health workers and 1,643 consultations for febrile outpatients (425 < 5 years and 1,218 ≥ 5 years). Health facility and health worker readiness was variable: chloroquine was available at only 5% of facilities, 73% stocked recommended artesunate and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (AS+SP), 51% had the capacity to perform parasitological diagnosis, 53% of health workers had received in-service training on ACTs, 24% were trained in the use of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests, and 19% had received a supervisory visit including malaria case-management. At all health facilities 46% of febrile patients were parasitologically tested and 35% of patients were both, tested and treated according to test result. At facilities where AS+SP and malaria diagnostics were available 66% of febrile patients were tested and 51% were both, tested and treated according to test result. Among test positive patients 64% were treated with AS+SP but 24% were treated with artemether monotherapy. Among test negative patients only 17% of patients were treated for malaria. The majority of ACT dispensing and counseling practices were suboptimal.
Five years following change of the policy from chloroquine to ACTs and 3 years before the end of the new malaria strategic plan chloroquine was successfully phased out from public facilities in Sudan, however, an important gap remained in the availability of ACTs, diagnostic capacities and coverage with malaria case-management activities. The national scale-up of diagnostics, using the findings of this survey as well as future qualitative research, should present an opportunity not only to expand existing testing capacities but also to implement effective support interventions to bridge the health systems gaps and support corrective case-management measures, including the discontinuation of artemether monotherapy treatment.
BMC Public Health 01/2012; 12:11. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-11 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improving malaria case management is partially dependent on health worker compliance with clinical guidelines. This study assessed health worker factors associated with correct anti-malarial prescribing practices at two sites in rural Tanzania.
Repeated cross-sectional health facility surveys were conducted during high and low malaria transmission seasons in 2010 and collected information on patient consultations and health worker characteristics. Using logistic regression, the study assessed health worker factors associated with correct prescription for uncomplicated malaria defined as prescription of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for patients with fever and Plasmodium falciparum asexual infection based on blood slide or malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) according to national treatment guidelines.
The analysis included 685 patients with uncomplicated malaria who were seen in a health facility with ACT in stock, and 71 health workers practicing in 30 health facilities. Overall, 58% of malaria patients were correctly treated with ACT. Health workers with three or more years' work experience were significantly more likely than others to prescribe correctly (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-7.1; p = 0.019). Clinical officers (aOR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1-4.5; p = 0.037), and nurse aide or lower cadre (aOR 3.1; 95% CI 1.3-7.1; p = 0.009) were more likely to correctly prescribe ACT than medical officers. Training on ACT use, supervision visits, and availability of job aids were not significantly associated with correct prescription.
Years of working experience and health worker cadre were associated with correct ACT prescription for uncomplicated malaria. Targeted interventions to improve health worker performance are needed to improve overall malaria case management.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.