Razafinjato B., Rakotonirina L., Benony Andriantahina J., Cordier L.F., Andriamihaja R., Rasoarivao A., Andrianomenjanahary M., Marovavy L., Hanitriniaina F., Mayfield A., Palazuelos D., Ihantamalala F., Rakotonanahary R.J.L., Miller A.C., Garchitorena A., McCarty M.G., Bonds M.H., Finnegan K.E. (2020). medRxiv.
Despite the widespread global adoption of community health (CH) systems, there are evidence gaps in how to best deliver community-based care aligned with global best practice in remote settings where access to health care is limited and community health workers (CHWs) may be the only available providers. PIVOT partnered with the Ministry of Public Health to pilot a new two-pronged approach for care delivery in rural Madagascar: one CHW provided care at a stationary CH site while 2-5 additional CHWs provided care via proactive household visits. The pilot included professionalization of the CHW workforce (i.e. recruitment, training, financial incentive) and twice monthly supervision of CHWs. We evaluated the impact of the CH pilot on utilization and quality of integrated community case management (iCCM) in the first six months of implementation (October 2019-March 2020).
We compared utilization and proxy measures of quality of care (defined as adherence to the iCCM protocol for diagnosis, classification of disease severity, treatment) in the intervention commune and five comparison communes, using a quasi-experimental study design and relying on routinely collected programmatic data. Average per capita monthly under-five visits were 0.28 in the intervention commune and 0.22 in the comparison communes. In the intervention commune, 40.0% of visits were completed at the household via proactive care. CHWs completed all steps of the iCCM protocol in 77.8% of observed visits in the intervention commune (vs 49.5% in the comparison communes, p-value=<0.001). A two-pronged approach to CH delivery and professionalization of the CHW workforce increased utilization and demonstrated satisfactory quality of care. National stakeholders and program managers should evaluate program re-design at a local level prior to national or district-wide scale-up.