Evaluation of a community health worker intervention and the World Health Organization’s Option B versus Option A to improve antenatal care and PMTCT outcomes in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: study protocol for a cluster-randomised controlled health systems implementation trial

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV remains an important public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. As HIV testing and linkage to PMTCT occurs in antenatal care (ANC), major challenges for any PMTCT option in developing countries, including Tanzania, are delays in the first ANC visit and a low overall number of visits. Community health workers (CHWs) have been effective in various settings in increasing the uptake of clinical services and improving treatment retention and adherence. At the beginning of this trial in January 2013, the World Health Organization recommended either of two medication regimens, Option A or B, for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). It is still largely unclear which option is more effective when implemented in a public healthcare system. This study aims to determine the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of: a community health worker (CWH) intervention and PMTCT Option B in improving ANC and PMTCT outcomes. This study is a cluster-randomised controlled health systems implementation trial with a two-by-two factorial design. All 60 administrative wards in the Kinondoni and Ilala districts in Dar es Salaam were first randomly allocated to either receiving the CHW intervention or not, and then to receiving either Option B or A. Under the standard of care, facility-based health workers follow up on patients who have missed scheduled appointments for PMTCT, first through a telephone call and then with a home visit. In the wards receiving the CHW intervention, the CHWs: identify pregnant women through home visits and refer them to antenatal care; provide education to pregnant women on antenatal care, PMTCT, birth, and postnatal care; routinely follow up on all pregnant women to ascertain whether they have attended ANC; and follow up on women who have missed ANC or PMTCT appointments.

Authors: Sando D, Geldsetzer P, Magesa L, Andrew I, Machumi L, Mwanyika-Sando M, Li N, Spiegelman D, Mungure E, Siril H, Mujinja P, Naburi H, Chalamilla G, Kilewo C, Ekström AM, Fawzi WW, Bärnighausen TW. ;Full Source: Trials. 2014 Sep 15;15(1):359. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]