Healthcare workers are at the frontline of the COVID-19 response, yet there is a paucity of literature on their knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) in relation to the pandemic. While technical guidance surrounding COVID-19 is available to support community health workers (CHWs) in Mozambique — known locally as agentes polivalentes elementares (APEs) — communicating this information has been challenging due to restrictions on travel, face-to-face group meetings and training, imposed from May to August 2020. A digital health platform, upSCALE, that already supports 1,213 APEs and 299 supervisors across three provinces, is being used to support APEs on effective COVID-19 management by delivering COVID-19 sensitive SMS messages, training modules and a COVID-19 KAP survey.
Methods and results
The KAP survey, conducted from June 2020 to August 2020, consisted of 10 questions. Of 1,065 active upSCALE APEs, 28 percent completed the survey. Results indicate that only a small proportion of APEs listed the correct COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes and appropriate prevention measures (25 percent, 16 percent and 39 percent, respectively) specifically included in national health education materials. Misconceptions were mainly related to transmission routes, high risk individuals and asymptomatic patients. 84 percent said they followed all government prevention guidelines. The results from the KAP survey were used to support the rapid development and deployment of targeted COVID-19 awareness and education materials for the APEs. SMS messages were continually adjusted based on the KAP survey results and a series of seven COVID-19 training modules were developed and disseminated. A follow-up KAP survey is planned for November 2020.
Adapting the existing upSCALE platform enabled a better understanding, in real time, of the KAP of APEs around COVID-19 management. Subsequently, this supported improved delivery of tailored messages and education, vital for ensuring a successful COVID-19 response.
Published in PLOS ONE
Country: MozambiqueKeywords: Digital health | Public health communications | Research | COVID-19 | Diagnosis | iCCM | SDG3 | SDG9
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