Authors: Mary B. Adam, Maria Dillmann, Mei-kuang Chen , Simon Mbugua , Joram Ndung’u , Priscilla Mumbi , Eunice Waweru , Peter Meissner
Volunteer community health workers (CHWs) form an important element of many health systems, and in
Kenya these volunteers are the foundation for promoting behavior change through health education, earlier case
identification, and timely referral to trained health care providers. This study examines the effectiveness of a community
health worker project conducted in rural Kenya that sought to promote improved knowledge of maternal newborn health
and to increase deliveries under skilled attendance.
The study utilized a quasi-experimental nonequivalent design that examined relevant demographic items and
knowledge about maternal and newborn health combined with a comprehensive retrospective birth history of women’s
children using oral interviews of women who were exposed to health messages delivered by CHWs and those who were not exposed. The project trained CHWs in three geographically distinct areas.
Mean knowledge scores were higher in those women who reported being exposed to the health messages from
CHWs, Eburru 32.3 versus 29.2, Kinale 21.8 vs 20.7, Nyakio 26.6 vs 23.8. The number of women delivering under skilled
attendance was higher for those mothers who reported exposure to one or more health messages, compared to those who did not.
Resource Type: Journal articles
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)