Greater Involvement of HIV-Infected Peer-Mothers in Provision of Reproductive Health Services as "Family Planning Champions" Increases Referrals and Uptake of Family Planning Among HIV-Infected Mothers

September 2017 - Combination Prevention

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Mudiope, P., Musingye, E., Makumbi, C.O., et al. BMC Health Services Research (2017)17:444, doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2386-x.

This study examined the impact of the Peer Champion intervention at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Peers (HIV-positive mothers) were trained to provide family planning (FP) education, counseling, and referrals with accompaniment to FP appointments for HIV-positive women attending services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)/postnatal care (PNC) services. Women attending their 6-, 12-, 24-, and 36-week PNC appointments who chose to use FP were accompanied by a peer champion to receive either oral contraceptive services (available through PMTCT care) or other long-acting or permanent FP options (available at other on-site clinics). Clinic attendance did not increase significantly during the intervention. Pre-intervention, intervention, and post-intervention referrals were 52.7 percent, 83.2 percent, and 72.4 percent, respectively. Following introduction of the intervention, FP referrals increased by 30.4 percent relative to baseline. After the intervention ended, FP referrals decreased by 10.8 percent. Similarly, FP method uptake increased by 31.3 percent during the intervention, and decreased by 10.8 percent afterwards. Injectable Depo-Provera was the most commonly used FP method (57.6%), followed by oral contraceptives (14.2%). The authors concluded that shifting FP tasks to well-trained peers can increase uptake of FP services in settings with insufficient human resources and high client burdens.

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