Conditional cash transfers to prevent mother-to-child transmission in low facility-delivery settings: Evidence from a randomised controlled trial in Nigeria

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Abstract

Background: Nigeria suffers from the highest burden of mother-to-child transmission worldwide. To increase retention in care and prevention programmes, we piloted and evaluated a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. Methods: In a randomised controlled trial, pregnant women testing positive for HIV during antenatal care registration at three public hospitals were randomised to one of two study arms: (1) offered enrolment into the CCT programme or (2) continue in standard care for (PMTCT). In the CCT programme, women could receive a compensation package totaling 33,300 Naira (~US$114) for enroling, delivering at the facility, and obtaining a newborn early infant diagnosis (EID) test. The intent-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) effects of the programme on the primary outcomes of facility delivery and EID testing and on the secondary outcome of nevirapine administration were estimated with logistic regressions. Results: From August 1, 2015 to April 19, 2017, 554 pregnant women tested positive for HIV; 273 were randomised to standard care and 281 were offered enrolment into the CCT intervention. Women offered the CCT programme were more likely to give birth at the facility (n = 109/263; 41.4%) compared to women in standard care (n = 80/254; 31.5%), an absolute difference of 9.9% (OR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.07-2.21, p = 0.019). For EID testing there was an absolute difference of 12.8% between those offered the CCT intervention (n = 69/263; 26.2%) and those in standard care (n = 34/254; 13.4%; OR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.46-3.62, p = 0.000). PP results show larger differences for both facility deliveries (16.7% absolute difference; OR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.38-2.98, p = 0.000) and EID testing (18.9% absolute difference; OR = 3.09, 95% CI 1.93-4.94, p = 0.000) among intervention enrolees. Over 86% of the facility-delivered newborns received nevirapine, and ITT and PP estimates were similar to those for facility deliveries. Conclusions: Results show that CCTs improved the likelihood of HIV-positive women giving birth at a facility, of nevirapine being administered to their newborn, and of undergoing EID testing in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. Effects are especially large among those who agreed to participate in the CCT intervention. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02447159, May 18, 2015.

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Liu, J. X., Shen, J., Wilson, N., Janumpalli, S., Stadler, P., & Padian, N. (2019). Conditional cash transfers to prevent mother-to-child transmission in low facility-delivery settings: Evidence from a randomised controlled trial in Nigeria. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2172-3

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