Maternal and Child Health Services in the Context of the Ebola Virus Disease: Health Care Workers’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Rural Guinea
The objective of this study was to document maternal and child health care workers‘ knowledge, attitudes and practices on service delivery before, during and after the 2014 EVD outbreak in rural Guinea. We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study in ten health districts between October and December 2015, using a standardized self-administered questionnaire. Overall 299 CHWs (94% response rate) participated in the study, including nurses/health technicians (49%), midwives (23%), managers (16%) and physicians (12%). Prior to the EVD outbreak, 87% of CHWs directly engaged in managing febrile cases within the facility, while the majority (89% and 63%) referred such cases to another facility and/or EVD treatment centre during and after the EVD outbreak, respectively. Compared to the period before the EVD outbreak when approximately half of CHWs (49%) reported systematically measuring body temperature prior to providing any care to patients, most CHWs reported doing so during (98%) and after the EVD outbreak (88%). The main challenges encountered were the lack of capacity to screen for EVD cases within the facility (39%) and the lack of relevant equipment (10%). The majority (91%) of HCWs reported a decrease in the use of services during the EVD outbreak while an increase was reported by 72% of respondents in the period following the EVD outbreak. Infection prevention and control measures established during the EVD outbreak have substantially improved self-reported provider practices for maternal and child health services in rural Guinea. However, more efforts are needed to maintain and sustain the gain achieved.
Key words: Maternal and child health, practices, Ebola, Guinea