Philani Mentor Mothers: Screening for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders by non-medical community workers

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

South Africa has the highest prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the world yet many women have no access to clinic care or to physicians in their communities. The shortage of physicians trained in the diagnosis of FASD is even more severe. Thus there is a need to train community workers to assist in the delivery of health … Read More

Philani Mentor Mothers: outcomes of home visits for pregnant mothers and their infants

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

The Philani Mentor Mothers Project aims to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable pregnant mothers and infants from low-income households, through a strategy of home visits by specially trained para-professional community health workers or “mentor mothers”.  The objective of this research is to evaluate the effect of home visits by community health workers (CHWs) on maternal and infant well being from … Read More

Multiple Risk Factors During Pregnancy in South Africa: The Need for a Horizontal Approach to Perinatal Care

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

South African children’s long-term health and well-being is jeopardized during their mothers’ pregnancies by the intersecting epidemics of HIV, alcohol use, low birth weight (LBW; <2,500 g) related to poor nutrition, and depressed mood. This research examines these overlapping risk factors among 1,145 pregnant Xhosa women living in 24 township neighborhoods in Cape Town, South Africa. Results revealed that 66 % of pregnant women experienced at least … Read More

Intimate Partner Violence and Depression Symptom Severity among South African Women during Pregnancy and Postpartum

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

Violence against women by intimate partners remains unacceptably common worldwide. The evidence base for the assumed psychological impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV) is derived primarily from studies conducted in high-income countries. A recently published systematic review identified 13 studies linking IPV to incident depression, none of which were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this gap in the literature, we analysed longitudinal data collected … Read More

Food insufficiency, depression, and the modifying role of social support

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

Food insecurity has emerged as an important, and potentially modifiable, risk factor for depression. Few studies have brought longitudinal data to bear on investigating this association in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this research was to estimate the association between food insufficiency and depression symptom severity, and to determine the extent to which any observed associations were modified by social support. The research … Read More

Cluster Randomised Controlled Effectiveness Trial Evaluating Perinatal Home Visiting among South African Mothers/Infants

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

Interventions are needed to reduce poor perinatal health. We trained community health workers as home visitors to address maternal/infant risks. In a cluster randomised controlled trial in Cape Town townships, neighbourhoods were randomised within matched pairs to 1) the control, healthcare at clinics , or 2) a home visiting intervention by CBW trained in cognitive-behavioural strategies to address health risks (by the … Read More

Philani Mentor Mothers: Depressed mood in pregnancy: Prevalence and correlates in two Cape Town peri-urban settlements

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

The disability associated with depression and its impact on maternal and child health has important implications for public health policy. While the prevalence of postnatal depression is high, there are no prevalence data on antenatal depression in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of depressed mood in pregnancy in Cape Town peri-urban settlements. This study … Read More

Community health workers can improve child growth of antenatally-depressed SA mothers

Svetlana DonevaResearch and Policy Briefs0 Comments

The Philani Mentor Mothers Project aims to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable pregnant mothers and infants from low-income households, through a strategy of home visits by specially trained para-professional “mentor mothers”. Maternal antenatal depression has long-term consequences for children’s health. This research assesses whether home visits by community health workers can improve growth outcomes for children of mothers who … Read More