David R Marsh's research while affiliated with Save the Children and other places

Publications (78)

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Objective: To describe Nicaragua's integrated community case management (iCCM) program for hard-to-reach, rural communities and to evaluate its impact using monitoring data, including annual, census-based infant mortality data. Method: This observational study measured the strength of iCCM implementation and estimated trends in infant mortality...
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Objective To report on how brigadistas (“health brigadiers”) in Nicaragua volunteer their time before the introduction of expanded responsibilities (beyond the scope of integrated community case management (iCCM)) for sick children 2–59 months old. Methods Three complete teams of brigadistas (n = 12 brigadistas total) were selected from remote com...
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Aims: To systematically identify global research gaps and resource priorities for integrated community case management (iCCM). Methods: An iCCM Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) Advisory Group, in collaboration with the Community Case Management Operational Research Group (CCM ORG) identified experts to participate in a CHNR...
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Background Teaming is an accepted approach in health care settings but rarely practiced at the community level in developing countries. Save the Children trained and deployed teams of volunteer community health workers (CHWs) and trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to provide essential newborn and curative care for children aged 0¿59 months...
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Analyzing complex health programs by their components and sub-components serves design, documentation, evaluation, research, and gap identification and prioritization. In 2012, we developed a rapid methodology to characterize integrated community case management (iCCM) programs, by assessing benchmarks for eight health system components in three pr...
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Use and coverage of curative interventions for childhood pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria were low in Ethiopia before integrated community-based case management (iCCM). To examine factors accounting for low use of iCCMin Shebedino District applying a "Pathway to Sur- vival" approach to assess illness recognition; home care; labeling and decision-ma...
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The Performance Review and Clinical Mentoring Meeting (PRCMM) is an approach to improve and sustain Health Extension Worker (HEW) skills and performance in integrated Community Case Management (iCCM). To compare HEW performance in recording case management before and after they participated in PRCMM. We conducted a historical cohort analysis of iCC...
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The incidence of newborn and young infant health danger signs is unknown in Ethiopia. Neverthe- less, experience shows that care-seeking is far lower than conservative morbidity estimates would project. To examine illness recognition, home care, decision-making, and care-seeking for sick infants less than two months of age in Shebedino District, So...
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The integrated community case management (iCCM) strategy has brought fully integrated treatment for sick children to the community in Ethiopia since 2010. To describe patterns of use of iCCM services in 31 woredas (districts) in three regions of Ethiopia. We analyzed all 60,452 encounters (58,341 [98.2%] for children 2-59 months of age and 2079 [1....
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Neonatal hypothermia is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for newborn survival. The World Health Organization recommends maintaining a warm chain and skin-to-skin care for thermoprotection of newborn children. Since little is known about practices related to newborn hypothermia in rural Africa, this study's goal was to characterize relevant...
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The use of teams is a well-known approach in a variety of settings, including health care, in both developed and developing countries. Team performance is comprised of teamwork and task work, and ascertaining whether a team is performing as expected to achieve the desired outcome has rarely been done in health care settings in resource-limited coun...
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This statement presents the latest evidence for integrated community case management of childhood illness, describes the necessary program elements and support tools for effective implementation, and lays out actions that countries and partners can take to support the implementation of integrated community case management at scale.
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Uganda's Ministry of Health, together with partners, has introduced integrated community case management (iCCM) for children under 5 years. We assessed how the iCCM program addresses newborn care in three midwestern districts through document reviews, structured interviews, and focus group discussions with village health team (VHT) members trained...
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Health planners commonly use geographic proximity to define access to health services. However, effective access to case management requires reliable access to a trained, supplied provider. We defined effective access as the proportion of the study population with geographic access, corrected for other barriers, staffing patterns, and medicine avai...
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Integrated community case management (iCCM) of childhood illness is an increasingly popular strategy to expand life-saving health services to underserved communities. However, community health approaches vary widely across countries and do not always distribute resources evenly across local health systems. We present a harmonized framework, develop...
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Neonatal mortality accounts for 40% of under-five child mortality. Evidence-based interventions exist, but attention to implementation is recent. Nationally representative coverage data for these neonatal interventions are limited; therefore proximal measures of progress toward scale would be valuable for tracking change among countries and over ti...
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Early childhood malnutrition has been associated with delayed development. Limited data exist however about the timing of developmental delay early in life. We assessed motor milestone (MM) achievement using the World Health Organization's windows of achievement for gross motor milestones. We performed secondary analysis of baseline data of 158 Vie...
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This three-phase study characterized, validated, and applied community capacity domains in a health communication project evaluation in Zambia. Phase I explored community capacity domains from community members' perspectives (16 focus groups, 14 in-depth interviews, 4 sites. These were validated in Phase II with 720 randomly selected adults. The va...
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Commentary on: Gill CJ, Phiri-Mazala G, Guerina NG, et al. Effect of training traditional birth attendants on neonatal mortality (Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival Project): randomised controlled study. BMJ 2011;342:d346.[OpenUrl][1][Abstract/FREE Full Text][2] Neonatal death accounts for 25% of under-5 mortality in Africa. Many African countries will...
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Community case management (CCM) as applied to child survival is a strategy that enables trained community health workers or volunteers to assess, classify, treat and refer sick children who reside beyond the reach of fixed health facilities. The Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MOH) and Save the Children trained and supported brigadistas (community h...
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Background: Ethiopia's Health Extension Workers (HEW) deliver preventive interventions and treat childhood diarrhea and malaria, but not pneumonia. Most of Ethiopia's annual estimated 4 million childhood pneumonia cases go untreated. Objective: Evaluate the performance of volunteers in providing Community Case Management (CCM) for diarrhea, fever a...
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While social factors broadly determine health outcomes, strategic health workforce innovations such as community case management (CCM) can redress social inequalities in access to health care. Community case management enables trained health workers to assess children, diagnose common childhood infections, administer medicines, and monitor life-sav...
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Responsive feeding, defined as the positive environment and caregiving behaviors that encourage children to eat, is critical to their physical, mental, and social development. However, research and programs designed to foster responsive feeding have been limited. This research tested the hypothesis that caregiver encouragement, caregiver and child...
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Pneumonia is the leading cause of child mortality globally. Community case management (CCM) of pneumonia by community health workers is a feasible, effective strategy to complement facility-based management for areas that lack access to facilities. We surveyed experts in the 57 African and Asian countries with the highest levels and rates of childh...
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Pneumonia is the leading cause of child mortality globally. Community case management (CCM) of pneumonia by community health workers is a feasible, effective strategy to complement facility-based management for areas that lack access to facilities. We surveyed experts in the 57 African and Asian countries with the highest levels and rates of childh...
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Health programmers and researchers must collaborate despite different mandates and technical languages. A results framework is a simple model that both disciplines can use to understand complexity, clarify assumptions and hypotheses, design programs, and ask questions to inform action research. Typically, a health program's results framework has 3...
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The positive deviance approach identifies and promotes existing uncommon healthy behaviours. A positive deviance-informed antenatal project was pilot-tested in Al-Minia Governorate, Upper Egypt, during 2003-2004, after a positive deviance study in 2000 found that successful pregnancies had increased consumption of meat and vegetables, daytime rest,...
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Weight-for-age is a commonly used indicator of the health of children and communities. We determined the accuracy of health volunteers' weight measurements in a nutrition project in Vietnam. To report the accuracy of the volunteers' weight measurements and to assess the likely effect of any inaccuracies. Save the Children /USA trained health volunt...
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The most efficient way to improve health is to use locally available, sustainable, and effective approaches. In the 1970s policy developers tested the concept that public health interventions could be designed around uncommon, beneficial health behaviours that some community members already practised.(1 2) This concept-known as positive deviance(3...
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Verbal autopsy (VA) aims to estimate a community's mortality experience in the absence of contact with formal registration or health care systems. Application of VA to neonatal deaths is problematic as the agonal phase of a neonatal death tends to be indistinct. This is the first attempt to validate the technique exclusively on newborns who died. S...
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Children who are weighed for growth monitoring are frequently clothed, especially in the cold weather. Health workers commonly estimate and subtract the weight of these clothes, but the accuracy of these estimates is unknown. We assessed the accuracy of child weights adjusted for estimated clothing typical of hot, cold, and extremely cold ambient t...
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Rigorous assessments of program quality are uncommon in developing countries. We evaluated the quality of the two-week, volunteer-facilitated, caregiver-child rehabilitation "hearth," or nutrition education and rehabilitation program (NERP), sessions in Save the Children's integrated nutrition program in Viet Nam. Field workers observed attendance,...
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Positive deviance (PD) refers to a phenomenon that exists in many resource-poor communities that is the finding that a few individuals and families employ uncommon beneficial practices that allow them and their children to have better health as compared to their similarly impoverished neighbors. These PD behaviors are likely to be affordable accept...
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Forty-two percent of Vietnamese children are stunted by two years of age. Since 1990, Save the Children Federation/US (SC) has implemented integrated nutrition programs targeting young children. We evaluated the effect of SC's nutrition program on the complementary food intake of young rural Vietnamese children. Using a longitudinal, prospective, r...
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Few prospective studies of child growth and its determinants take place in programmatic contexts. We evaluated the effect of Save the Children's (SC) community empowerment and nutrition program (CENP) on child growth, care, morbidity, empowerment, and behavioral determinants. This paper describes the research methods of this community-based study....
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The positive deviance (PD) approach offers an alternative to needs-based approaches for development. The "traditional" application of the PD approach for childhood malnutrition involves studying children who grow well despite adversity, identifying uncommon, model practices among PD families, and designing an intervention to transfer these behavior...
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Infectious disease and poor diet are the two proximal causes of malnutrition in children. During the 1990s, integrated nutrition programs implemented by Save the Children (SC) in Viet Nam reduced severe child malnutrition, but it has not been clear if this impact was due primarily to improved diet or reduced disease. The aim of this study was to de...
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Integrated nutrition programs are widely used to prevent and/or reverse childhood malnutrition, but rarely rigorously evaluated. The impact of such a program on the physical growth of young rural Vietnamese children was measured. We randomized six communes to receive an integrated nutrition program implemented by Save the Children. We matched six c...
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Style of child feeding may be an important determinant of child nutrition and health outcomes. Responsive feeding refers to the level and kind of interaction between caregiver and child that lead to a positive feeding experience, adequate dietary intake, and enhanced developmental opportunities. Responsive feeding behaviors may include active physi...
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Empowerment is often cited as a fundamental component of health promotion strategies. Anecdotes suggest that Save the Children's integrated nutrition project empowers local women and health volunteers. The aim of this research was to document the degree to which this is being accomplished. Using qualitative methodologies, we conducted a cross-secti...
Article
Full-text available
A positive deviance (PD) inquiry identifies uncommon, model practices that a follow-on program can spread. PD has been used to rehabilitate malnourished children, but not for improving newborn health. Save the Children Federation/US (SC) conducted newborn PD cycles in communities (total population about 5,000 each) in two project areas in Haripur D...
Article
This study assessed barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in rural Viet Nam and identified how a few mothers were able to exclusively breastfeed despite barriers. A cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative assessment was carried out among 120 mothers of infants less than six months old in northern Viet Nam. Only 24% of the mothers exclusively bre...
Article
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We compared the positive deviance (PD) approach in Save the Children's field guide with a case-control study (CCS) to identify behaviors associated with good nutritional status in Afghan refugee children 6 to 24 months of age in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan. The positive deviance inquiry (PDI), utilizing observations and intervi...
Article
Globally, the caregiving behaviors that contribute to good nutritional status are well understood; but it is not clear why some caregivers perform these behaviors while others do not. This formative qualitative research was designed to improve understanding about what distinguishes caregivers who practice optimal behaviors from those who do not. Th...
Article
This study assessed barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in rural Viet Nam and identified how a few mothers were able to exclusively breastfeed despite barriers. A cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative assessment was carried out among 120 mothers of infants less than six months old in northern Viet Nam. Only 24% of the mothers exclusively bre...
Article
Full-text available
Save the Children's (SC) successful integrated nutrition program in Viet Nam, the poverty alleviation and nutrition program (PANP), uses the positive deviance (PD) approach to identify key growth promoting behaviors and provides participatory adult education allowing mothers to develop skills related to these behaviors. We investigated whether impr...
Article
Although post-neonatal and child mortality rates have declined dramatically in many developing countries in recent decades, neonatal mortality rates have remained relatively unchanged. Neonatal mortality now accounts for approximately two-thirds of the 8 million deaths in children less than 1 year of age, and nearly four-tenths of all deaths in chi...
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Four million newborns die every year at home, often without skilled care at delivery or any other contact with the formal health system. Improved household practices and use of services, often in the community, should improve survival. We developed a conceptual framework for household and community newborn and maternal care that acknowledges the in...
Article
A positive deviance inquiry was conducted in Al-Minia, Upper Egypt, to identify factors associated with achievement of good pregnancy outcomes despite limited resources. As compared with women with poor weight gain (n = 30), low-income women with weight gain greater than 1.5 kg per month in the second trimester of pregnancy (n = 11) were more likel...
Article
Full-text available
A positive deviance (PD) inquiry identifies uncommon, model practices that a follow-on program can spread. PD has been used to rehabilitate malnourished children, but not for improving newborn health. Save the Children Federation/US (SC) conducted newborn PD cycles in communities (total population about 5,000 each) in two project areas in Haripur D...
Article
Full-text available
The positive deviance (PD) approach offers an alternative to needs-based approaches for development. The “traditional” application of the PD approach for childhood malnutrition involves studying children who grow well despite adversity, identifying uncommon, model practices among PD families, and designing an intervention to transfer these behavior...
Article
Empowerment is often cited as a fundamental component of health promotion strategies. Anecdotes suggest that Save the Children's integrated nutrition project empowers local women and health volunteers. The aim of this research was to document the degree to which this is being accomplished. Using qualitative methodologies, we conducted a cross-secti...
Article
Globally, the caregiving behaviors that contribute to good nutritional status are well understood; but it is not clear why some caregivers perform these behaviors while others do not. This formative qualitative research was designed to improve understanding about what distinguishes caregivers who practice optimal behaviors from those who do not. Th...
Article
We compared the positive deviance (PD) approach in Save the Children's field guide with a case-control study (CCS) to identify behaviors associated with good nutritional status in Afghan refugee children 6 to 24 months of age in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan. The positive deviance inquiry (PDI), utilizing observations and intervi...
Article
Save the Children's (SC) successful integrated nutrition program in Viet Nam, the poverty alleviation and nutrition program (PANP), uses the positive deviance (PD) approach to identify key growth promoting behaviors and provides participatory adult education allowing mothers to develop skills related to these behaviors. We investigated whether impr...
Article
Integrated nutrition programs are widely used to prevent and/or reverse childhood malnutrition, but rarely rigorously evaluated. The impact of such a program on the physical growth of young rural Vietnamese children was measured. We randomized six communes to receive an integrated nutrition program implemented by Save the Children. We matched six c...