A Comparative Study on Effect of Caregivers Training on Health Outcomes of HIV Infected Children on Antiretroviral Therapy in Kenya
Argwings Odhiambo Miruka, Louisa Ndunyu, Patrick Onyango, Jonah Maswai, Laura Oyiengo
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The purpose of this cohort study was to assess the effect of caregiver training on health outcomes of HIV-infected children aged 1-14 years on antiretroviral therapy in South Rift Valley, Kenya. Three hundred and twenty children of trained caregivers and 778 children of non-trained caregivers were targeted from four hospitals. Population proportionate to size sampling technique was used to calculate number of children enrolled. Children medical chart for trained and non-trained caregivers were stratified as per year of training, 2014, 2015, 2016 and randomly selected numbers matched with corresponding medical record. Data was collected through review of medical records, questionnaires and caregivers interview. There was significant association between caregiver training and adherence (Fisher's Exact Test X2 =22.740, p = .001). Children of trained caregivers had significant reductions in viral load (Kruskal Wallis X2 =7.124, p = .028); significant difference in viral loads was also observed between trained and non-trained caregivers (Mann-Whitney U=19846, p=.012), significant association in episodes of opportunistic infections before, after and among non-trained caregivers (Fisher's Exact Test X2 =76.768, p = .001). Nutritional status of children was not associated with caregivers training (Pearson Chi-square X2 = 11.616, p =.072). Most caregivers perceived training to be useful. The study found that, training enables caregivers to improve adherence levels of HIV infected children on antiretroviral therapy. Even though there are HIV information in public domain, the study found, if this information is provided in a structured manner, enables suppression of viral loads of HIV infected children. Training caregivers significantly reduces frequency of opportunistic infections among HIV infected children on antiretroviral therapy. Providing information on nutrition to caregivers does not affect nutritional status of HIV infected children. Training caregivers on HIV information improves health outcomes of HIV infected children thus study provide evidence–based decision making in rolling out caregivers training nationally.