Enhancing Maternal and Child Health using a Combined Mother & Child Health Booklet in Kenya

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Under Kenyan guidelines, HIV-exposed infants should be tested for HIV DNA at 6 weeks or at first clinical contact thereafter, as infants come for immunization. Following the introduction of early infant diagnoses programmes, however, many infants were not being tested and linked to care and treatment. We developed the Mother & Child Health Booklet to help relate mothers’ obstetrical history to infants’ healthcare providers to facilitate follow-up and timely management. The booklet contains information on the mother’s pregnancy, delivery and postpartum course and her child’s growth and development, immunization, nutrition and other data need to monitor the child to 5 years of age. It replaced three separate record clinical cards. In a 1 year pilot evaluation of the booklet in Nyanza province in 2007–08, the number of HIV DNA tests on infants increased by 34% from 9966 to 13 379. The booklet was subsequently distributed nationwide in 2009. Overall, the numbers of infants tested for HIV DNA rose from 27 000 in 2007 to 60 000 in 2012, which represents approximately 60% of the estimated HIV-exposed infants in Kenya. We believe that the booklet is an important strategy for identifying and treating infected infants and, thus, in progress toward Millennium Development Goal 4.

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