New Journal Article Examines Impact of Home Visiting Teams on Young Mothers in Kenya

March 9th, 2021 | News


JSI staff have published a new article in Tropical Medicine and International Health that examines the impact of home visiting teams on the health of HIV-vulnerable and HIV-positive pregnant and postpartum adolescent women. The approach offered a case-management, team-focused approach to increase knowledge and care-seeking behaviors of adolescent girls while strengthening the supportive environment within the family and larger community to enhance health and social service uptake among pregnant adolescent girls and adolescent mothers in Kenya.

The study, conducted through the AIDSFree program, found that a team-focused approach of home visits to HIV-vulnerable and HIV-positive pregnant and postpartum adolescent girls and their infants—combined with efforts to reduce stigma and increase supportiveness of households and the community—can help address critical socio-cultural and behavioral barriers to accessing and using health and social services. Study findings also demonstrate significant improvements in skilled birth attendance, postpartum modern family planning uptake, ART retention and viral suppression.

The study, Health and Social Outcomes of HIV-vulnerable and HIV-Positive Pregnant and Postpartum Adolescents and Infants Enrolled in a Home Visiting Team Program in Kenya, authored by JSI’s Marcy Levy, Malia Duffy, Jennifer Pearson, Alexandra Coombs, and Nicole Davis, in partnership with Job Akuno, Samuel Oduong, and Aida Yemaneberhan of EGPAF, and Isabella Yonga and Rose Kerubo Mokaya from USAID Nairobi, found that during the program, household support increased from 57% to 85% while 100% of eligible participants were on ART and virally suppressed (total of 20 adolescents). Nearly all pregnant adolescent girls (94%) delivered under skilled care vs. 78% of those who were postpartum at the time of enrollment (p<0.001); 100% of infants (total of 17 infants) had an up-to-date PCR test with no seroconversions. Uptake of modern family planning increased from 39% at baseline to 64% at endline (p<0.001).

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