Towards a functioning retail health market: Evaluating the integrated Community Case Management Intervention for Pediatric Febrile Illness in Drug Shops in Rural South Western Uganda

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Gunnesalen, Akademiska sjukhuset - Entrance 10, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Kitutu, Freddy Eric
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Internationell mödra- och barnhälsovård (IMCH)
  • Kontaktperson: Kitutu, Freddy Eric
  • Disputation

This thesis examined the health systems effects of implementing the integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) intervention for paediatric febrile illnesses in a retail health market in South Western Uganda.

Objectives: This thesis examined the health systems effects of implementing the integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) intervention for paediatric febrile illnesses in a retail health market in South Western Uganda. More specifically, it evaluated drug seller interpretation of malaria Rapid Diagnostics Test (RDT) results (study I), adherence to iCCM guidelines (study II) and the intervention effect on households’ perceived quality of drug seller fever care and care-seeking choice. Study IV qualitatively analysed the iCCM intervention implementation and causal mechanisms for observed effects. Improved understanding of such retail health markets will inform policy decisions and interventions for Universal Health Coverage.

Methods: The study used mixed-methods design with an intervention and comparison arm, and pre-test assessment in both study arms. Data collection methods included care-seeker drug shop exit interviews and household surveys using structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, review of secondary data and a laboratory analysis of finger-prick capillary blood samples.

Results: Among those tested for malaria parasites, there was 93% (95% CI 88.3, 96.2) agreement between drug sellers and laboratory scientist re-reading and with a kappa value of 0.84 (95% CI 0.75, 0.92) (Study I). The drug seller compliance with the reported malaria RDT results was 92.5% (95% CI 87.9, 95.7) (Study I). The iCCM intervention improved appropriate treatment for uncomplicated malaria by 34.5% (95% CI 8.6, 60.4), for pneumonia symptoms by 54.7% (95% CI 28.4, 81.0) and reduced appropriate treatment for non-bloody diarrhoea -11.2% (95% CI -65.5, 43.1), after adjusting for extraneous variables (Study II). Implementing the iCCM intervention in drug shops decreased the odds of households perceiving drug seller fever care as good but increased the household odds of choosing to seek care from private health facilities versus within the community (Study III). Drug sellers operated in a retail market system influenced by knowledge and actions of care-seekers, CHWs, government health workers and regulators, and also how formal and informal rules and norms were applied (Study IV). Implementation of the iCCM intervention at drug shops was modified and shaped by the emerging actor perceptions and behaviours (Study IV).

Conclusions: This thesis demonstrates the implementation, causal mechanisms and contextual factors of the iCCM intervention in a rural retail health market. Fidelity and quality of iCCM intervention by drug sellers was acceptably high, probably as a result of co-interventions. Interventions in retail health markets should comprise of components that target the multiple actors or influences that shape that market. Multi-component health system interventions are complex to implement and also create complexity in their evaluation. When technologies are involved, their analysis should go beyond their substance as products and view them as items that encapsulate interests of different actors, some of which maybe converging with or competing against societal goals.