E-IMPACT Early Childhood Stimulation RCT
In Zimbabwe, while 85% of HIV-positive adults are receiving treatment and care, only 44% of children are receiving treatment. Bantwana designed the Expanded IMPACT model to support the Ministry of Health and Child Care to accelerate pediatric care and treatment access. The model addresses both demand and supply by strengthening capacity, increasing uptake, and supporting decentralization of services to strengthen local clinic capacity.
While designing and implementing the Expanded IMPACT model in Zimbabwe, Bantwana recognized a gap in early childhood care and development, especially for HIV-exposed infants. Therefore, under Expanded IMPACT, Bantwana piloted an ECS component through a randomized control trial (RCT).
With research partners from Oxford University and the University of Stellenbosch, and with support from PEPFAR/USAID, Bantwana is leading the two-year RCT to evaluate the significance of a Bantwana-developed ECS parenting curriculum on HIV adherence for mothers and their babies, as well as the cognitive, emotional, and developmental progress of the child. This package includes childhood stimulation parenting skills, home visits/case management, and economic strengthening activities for caregivers to afford treatment and transportation costs.
By better understanding E-IMPACT’s ability to retain HIV-positive children in pediatric HIV care, Bantwana aims to contribute to the global evidence base concerning integrated service delivery models for pediatric HIV care.
Although the RCT is not yet complete, the ECS curriculum and interventions were well received and Bantwana is utilizing the curriculum across more programs, notably DREAMS. Results are expected late 2018.