Retired Nurses Can Improve Retention in Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Programmes

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Zahra Persson Theilgaard
Mercy G Chiduo
Leo Flamholc
Jan Gerstoft
Ib C Bygbjerg
Martha Moshi Lemnge
Terese L Katzenstein


Background: The success of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes depends on retention of mothers throughout the PMTCT cascade.

Methods: In a clinical trial of short-course combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for PMTCT in Tanzania, senior nurses were employed to reduce the substantial loss-to-follow up (LTFU) rate.

Results: Following intervention, the relative risk (RR) of receiving a CD4 count result and antiretroviral therapy was 1.16 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 1.27), the RR of delivery at clinic was 2.51 (95% CI, 2.06 to 3.06), the RR for reporting for follow-up at 6 to 8 weeks postpartum was 4.63 (95% CI, 3.41 to 6.27), and the RR for being retained until 9 months postpartum was 28.19 (95% CI, 11.81 to 67.28). No significant impact on transmission was found.

Conclusion: Significantly higher retention was found after senior nurses were employed. No impact on transmission was found. Relatively low transmission was found in both study arms.

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