American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, 2(4), 125-135
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-2-4-2
Open AccessArticle

Providers’ Knowledge of the Guidelines for Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Malaria in Pregnancy: Evidence from Bungoma East District, Kenya

Angela Chepkemoi Ng’etich-Mutulei1, and Tom Odhiambo1

1Health and Social Services, Kenya Red Cross Society, Nairobi, Kenya

Pub. Date: June 18, 2014

Cite this paper:
Angela Chepkemoi Ng’etich-Mutulei and Tom Odhiambo. Providers’ Knowledge of the Guidelines for Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Malaria in Pregnancy: Evidence from Bungoma East District, Kenya. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014; 2(4):125-135. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-2-4-2

Abstract

Introduction: Intermittent Preventive Treatment for malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is a key intervention for malaria prevention. Providers’ knowledge of IPTp guidelines is crucial for effective services and achievement of the Roll Back Malaria target. This study assessed providers’ knowledge of the IPTp guidelines, with a view to contributing towards policy deliberations aimed at improving providers’ knowledge and service quality. Methods: We sourced primary data from 34 providers working in public health facilities, including the district and sub-district hospitals, health centres, and dispensaries. The test items included definition of IPTp; timing of the first IPTp dose; whether women on cotrimoxazole should be given IPTp; as well as whether IPTp can be given with folic acid, among others. Quantitative analysis techniques included frequency distributions and cross-tabulations with Chi Square statistic. Findings: Only one-third (29.4%) of the participants provided correct responses to all the ten test items; hence, were considered to be ‘knowledgeable’ about the guidelines. About 56% of the providers had accessed some training on IPTp, while a significant variation in IPTp knowledge emerged between trained and untrained providers. The study also found significant variation in providers’ knowledge of most guidelines across the cadres as well as across health facility tiers. Interpretation: The failure of about 71% of the providers to state correct responses to all the test items suggests that providers’ knowledge of the guidelines remains low. Trained providers were likely to be more knowledgeable than their untrained counterparts were; clinical officers were likely to be more knowledgeable than community health workers were, while providers at the district hospital were likely to be more knowledgeable than providers at the dispensaries were. The study recommends the need to scale-up in-service training; package and disseminate the guidelines in portable materials; and prioritize training opportunities for lower cadres and providers in lower tier facilities.

Keywords:
Intermittent Preventive Treatment Providers' knowledge Pregnancy Malaria Prevention Malaria Control

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