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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC Public Health
Title Effects of community health volunteers on infectious diseases of children under five in Volta Region, Ghana: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial
Author(s)
Volume 17
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 95
URL https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-3991-z
Abstract
Background
In many low- and middle-income countries, community health volunteers (CHVs) are employed as a key element of the public health system in rural areas with poor accessibility. However, few studies have assessed the effectiveness of CHVs in improving child health in sub-Saharan Africa through randomized controlled trials. The present study aims to measure the impact of health promotion and case management implemented by CHVs on the health of under-5 children in Ghana.

Methods/Design
This study presents the protocol of a cluster-randomized controlled trial assessing the impacts of CHVs, in which the community was used as the randomization unit. A phase-in design will be adopted, and the intervention arm will be implemented in the intervention arm during the first phase and in the control arm during the second phase. The key intervention is the deployment of CHVs, who provide health education, provide oral rehydration solutions and zinc tablets to children with diarrhea, and diagnose malaria using a thermometer and a rapid diagnostic test kit during home visits. The primary endpoints of the study are the prevalence of diarrhea and fever/malaria in children under 5 years of age, as well as the proportion of affected children receiving case management for diarrhea and malaria. The first and second rounds of household surveys to collect data will be conducted in the first phase, and the final round will be conducted during the second phase.

Discussion
With growing attention paid to the roles of CHVs as an essential part of the community health system in low-income countries, this study will contribute valuable information to the body of knowledge on the effects of CHVs.

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