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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC health services research
Title Health workers’ perspectives, knowledge and skills regarding community case management of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia: a qualitative inquiry for an implementation research project “Nigraan” in District Badin, Sindh, Pakistan
Author(s)
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-016-1699-5
Abstract
Background
Pakistan’s Lady Health Worker Programme aims to provide care to children sick with pneumonia and diarrhoea, which continues to cause 27 % under-five mortality in Pakistan. The quality of supervision received by Lady Health Workers (LHWs) in the programme influence their knowledge and skills, in turn impacting their ability to provide care.

Methods
This study is part of an implementation research project titled “Nigraan” (an Urdu word meaning supervisor), and explores LHW and Lady Health Supervisor (LHS) perspectives regarding the role of supervision in improving LHWs performance and motivation in district Badin, Sindh, Pakistan. Their knowledge and skills regarding integrated community case management (iCCM) of diarrhoea and pneumonia were also assessed. Fourteen focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews were conducted as part of this qualitative inquiry. Analysis was done using QSR NVivo version 10.

Results
Most LHWs and LHSs identified pneumonia and diarrhoea as two major causes of death among children under-five. Poverty, illiteracy, poor hygiene and lack of clean drinking water were mentioned as underlying causes of high mortality due to diarrhoea and pneumonia. LHWs and LHSs gaps in knowledge included classification of dehydration, correctly preparing ORS and prescribing correct antibiotics in pneumonia. Lack of training, delayed salaries and insufficient medicines and other supplies were identified as major factors impeding appropriate knowledge and skill development for iCCM of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia. LHWs considered adequate supervision and the presence of LHSs during household visits as a factor facilitating their performance. LHWs did not have a preference for written or verbal feedback, but LHSs considered written individual feedback to LHWs to be more useful than group and verbal feedback.

Conclusion
LHWs have knowledge and skill gaps that prevent them from providing effective care for diarrhoea and pneumonia. Enhanced supportive feedback from LHSs could improve LHWs skills and performance.

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