UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Promoting positive maternal, newborn, and child health behaviors through a group-based health education and microfinance program: a prospective matched cohort study in western Kenya Maldonado, Lauren Y; Songok, Julia J; Snelgrove, John W; Ochieng, Christian B; Chelagat, Sheilah; Ikemeri, Justus E; Okwanyi, Monica A; Cole, Donald C; Ruhl, Laura J; Christoffersen-Deb, Astrid


Background: Chamas for Change (Chamas) is a group-based health education and microfinance program for pregnant and postpartum women that aims to address inequities contributing to high rates of maternal and infant mortality in rural western Kenya. In this prospective matched cohort study, we evaluated the association between Chamas participation and facility-based delivery. We additionally explored the effect of participation on promoting other positive maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) behaviors. Methods: We prospectively compared outcomes between a cohort of Chamas participants and controls matched for age, parity, and prenatal care location. Between October–December 2012, government-sponsored community health volunteers (CHV) recruited pregnant women attending their first antenatal care (ANC) visits at rural health facilities in Busia County to participate in Chamas. Women enrolled in Chamas agreed to attend group-based health education and microfinance sessions for one year; controls received the standard of care. We used descriptive analyses, multivariable logistic regression models, and random effect models to compare outcomes across cohorts 12 months following enrollment, with α set to 0.05. Results: Compared to controls (n = 115), a significantly higher proportion of Chamas participants (n = 211) delivered in a health facility (84.4% vs. 50.4%, p 

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