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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