Community Health Worker Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards COVID-19: Learnings from an Online Cross-sectional Survey using a Digital Health Platform, UpSCALE, in Mozambique

Source
PLOS One

Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Mozambique are known locally as agentes polivalentes elementares (APEs). While technical guidance surrounding COVID-19 is available to support 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, 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.

The KAP survey, conducted from June 2020 to August 2020, consisted of 10 questions. Results indicate that only a small proportion of APEs listed the correct COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes and appropriate prevention measures specifically included in national health education materials. Misconceptions were mainly related to transmission routes, high risk individuals and asymptomatic patients. 

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. 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, supporting delivery of tailored messages and education, vital for ensuring a successful COVID-19 response.