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Cycle 5 (2016 Deadline)

Capacity building of health care providers in Egypt to counsel pregnant women and their families regarding smoking cessation and second hand smoking avoidance

PI: Wagida Anwar (, Ain Shams University School of Medicine
U.S. Partner: Scott Sherman, New York University
U.S. Partner: Cheryl Oncken, University of Connecticut
Project Dates: January 2017 - December 2019

Project Overview:

The overarching aim of this project is to develop and disseminate an evidence-based healthcare professional training program to counsel smokers (both men and women) to stop smoking and establish smoke-free homes via developing the capacity of physicians and nurses who counsel pregnant women in greater Cairo. The intervention target group includes pregnant mothers in households with a current smoker. This will help to achieve better maternal and child health outcomes through women either quitting smoking and/or establishing a smoke-free home. The project team also aims to create capacity for widespread dissemination by developing and testing a train-the-trainer program and creating a network of professionals and organizations, including the Ministry of Health. The proposed intervention is capitalizing on the “teachable moment concept,” with health professionals providing advice in a situation where men and women alike are likely more receptive for behavioral change interventions that can affect the health of their unborn baby. The intervention includes the following activities: (1) developing and implementing a core training curriculum for physicians and nurses to be implemented in antenatal care visits; (2) creating capacity for dissemination by developing a train-the-trainer model and adapting a health/social service-based follow-up protocol to be implemented by the nursing staff; and (3) developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for core program activities and follow-up activities by the trainers.

This project has multiple development implications in Egypt. The direct improvement in the health and well-being of pregnant women and children should have a positive economic impact . Tobacco use has indirect effects on health by increasing the risk of poverty at the individual, household, and national levels. The capacity building components of this project are also directed towards empowering young investigators in the field of science and research to help prepare future leaders in those fields. Through a partnership between the Ministry of Health, the Syndicates of Physicians and of Nurses, and prominent universities, the research team hopes that the results of this project will lead to policy changes to promote its sustainability.

Summary of Recent Activities:

As of January 2018, the research team has developed a draft of qualitative and quantitative questionnaires. The drafts are currently under revision and will be translated into Arabic to facilitate the administration of the questionnaires to Arabic-speaking staff. Dr Kareem connected with various hospitals including: El Hussein Teaching Hospital, Sayed Galal, Kasr Aini, Azhar University Hospitals, and Ain Shams Maternity Hospital. He also made communicated the PEER project to private sectors physicians and clinics. All showed a high degree of cooperation. The project received IRB approval in October 2017. The primary target audience for this intervention is health care providers working in a setting affiliated with the governmental hospitals in greater Cairo. The team held a workshop on September 25, 2017 for Training on Qualitative Research for the project team. This workshop consisted of two sessions: a theoretical scientific lecture by senior epidemiology professor prof. Mostafa El Housseini, and a practical application and open discussion facilitated by Omar El Shahawy. A set of questions for in-depth interviews for female participants and for physicians was developed during this session. Lastly, a workshop was held on November 13, 2017 which included all the research team members including the USG-supported partners Scott Sherman and Cheryl Oncken, as well as Marie Riccardone from NIH/NCI. The objectives of the workshop was to finalize the general research plan , recruitment plan for physicians and for pregnant females; update the study timeline; and determine ways for involving junior members in the PEER research project.

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