In the central Brong Ahafo region of rural Ghana, half of all births occur at home, and these home deliveries account for a large proportion of all neonatal deaths. In other countries where utilisation of maternal and newborn health facilities is also low, trained community health workers have played an important role in providing newborn care. Currently, researchers based at the Kintampo Health Research Centre in Ghana and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, are working closely with the District Health Management Teams in the Brong Ahafo region to investigate whether a similar approach, where community volunteers provide home-based care to pregnant women and newborns, can improve neonatal survival. This case study introduces the Newborn Home Interventions Study (Newhints). The core component of the Newhints intervention is to train the current network of community based surveillance volunteers (CBSVs) to identify pregnant women in the community and to conduct two home visits during pregnancy and three in the first week of the baby’s life. Following piloting and finalisation of the materials, the Newhints intervention has been delivered in half of the Newhints zones chosen at random in each of the seven districts in the Brong Ahafo region. Training of all CBSVs in the intervention zones was completed in June 2008. Evaluation of an impact on newborn deaths and neonatal care practices will use data collected through 4-weekly surveillance for all babies born between 31 December 2008 and 1 January 2010.
Towards 4+5 Case Study, 1 p.
Testing a community based intervention to reduce neonatal deaths in rural Ghana