Effective Interventions  (E.I) is a UK based Foundation formed to provide case studies of how to lower Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in developing countries. Currently, two major research programmes are being conducted in India and Guinea Bissau. The latter was chosen as it is one of the poorest countries in Africa with an estimated 300 infant deaths per 1000 births according to local research institute Bandim. In 2006, Africa AHEAD was asked to assist in starting up a large Community Health Club programme in two districts of Guinea Bisau, Tombali and Quinara. This involves approximately 200,000 people with the aim to reduce IMR by at least 25% within two years. The two pronged intervention consists of hygiene promotion through Community Health Clubs, with six months of health and hygiene training for health club members and improving antenatal care in health posts and training for birth attendants and village health workers.

Rigorous pre-intervention research has been undertaken. A base line survey of 120 clusters of 400 people per cluster was conducted to provide a current health profile of the population. The intervention was likely to start in July 2007.  Up to 80 Community Health Clubs are to be be started involving approximately 100 members in each health club. Culture specific visual aids are currently being drawn specifically for the programme so that participatory health sessions can be conducted. The intervention will continue for at least two years after which there will be a post intervention survey and published results. Linked to top statisticians at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health of Guinea Bissau, this research aspires to become a seminal work in the field of behaviour change within the Public Health Promotion Sector.

Health Clubs to Start in Guinea Bissau