Article Text

Impact of a community outreach programme on attendance rate at a rural health centre in Nigeria, West Africa
  1. A Okolo1,
  2. M Diakparoromre2,
  3. I Oyibo2,
  4. G Nwanjei2
  1. 1Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Nigeria
  2. 2Paediatrics, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria


Introduction In an effort to contribute a reduction in infant and young child mortality in a rural community in Nigeria, West Africa, the department of paediatrics joined the linkage program with the Nigerian society of neonatal medicine (NISONM) to work with a local government area (LGA) in the bid to strengthen their health system.

The process involved the mobilisation of the Local Government Authority to buy into the elaboration of the concept of the home based care by the Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) for mothers and Newborns in these communities. The Department of Pediatrics through the input of the trainees in Pediatrics supported activities at a selected health centre.

These activities included provision of services for outpatient care for children, Antenatal care, Postnatal care, Immunisations, Growth monitoring, Breast feeding and Nutrition support, Family planning.

Objectives The purpose of this short preliminary report is to describe how the participation of trainee doctors in a linkage program activities at a Health Centres has impacted on attendance rate at the health centre sessions.

Methods At the inception of this program a baseline review of the attendance rate at the health centre activities (July to December 2010) was noted.

A repeat review of the attendance rate at the health centre sessions (February to July 2011) was carried out following the commencement of the linkage program.

Results The attendance rates at ANC, delivery, sick child and immunisation clinic 6 months pre- and post-linkage program intervention were found statistically significant (P<0.05).

Conclusion It is concluded that the outreach program support by the Resident doctors provides evidence for the demand creation to improve utilisation of the Primary health care centre. The findings from this preliminary report indicates the need to replicate such activities in other communities where tertiary institutions can provide the linkage support.

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