Evaluating Health Status of Under-Five Children Following a Training of Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) With Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Messages on Malnutrition and Diarrhoeal Diseases in Two Southern Districts of Zambia

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.08.03.Art030

Authors : Israel Ndayambaje


Trained health care providers in resource constrained regions such as Zambia are few, overburdened with work and are time constrained. Consequently, they make use of Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) who have proved to be locally accessible, cost effective and appropriate. For CBVs to effectively reduce morbidities in under-fives, they should be trained to focus their IEC material and delivery method to specific needs of individual communities. The objective of this study therefore, was to assess the impact of training CBVs with modified IEC messages towards improving health status of under-five children of Pemba and Gwembe Districts.

The study used a Quasi-experimental study design with intervention and control groups, Pemba and Gwembe Districts and their respective health facilities were selected conveniently, Availability sampling was used for 124 CBVs working under these two facilities of which 82 were from the intervention site and were assessed before and after training, and thereafter conducted IEC for a period of over 3 months. Post intervention data with regard to malnutrition and diarrhoea in both sites were collected at 6 and 9 months. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 24, and paired t and X2 tests were used and conclusion done at 0.05 significance level.

The knowledge level of CBVs improved significantly from baseline (x ̅=5.62±2.3) to post intervention (x ̅=9.06 ±0.9) with t(4) = 14.29, p < .01. Trained CBVs delivered selected IEC messages effectively and significantly improved the health status in under-five children within 9 months with findings showing a downward trend for the cases of diarrhoea and malnutrition, from 17.5% to 7.24% and from 15 % to 12.8% for diarrhoeal diseases; and out of the total under-five attendances, children below -2 Z score dropped from 1.27% to 0.27% and 1.12% to 1.08 % for nutrition status in the intervention and control sites respectively.


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