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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 - February 2023

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:

From July-September 2022, the PEER team conducted trainings, data collection, and results analyses. During this time, the project coordinator arranged to perform a post-KAP training for physicians, nurses, and health educators. The project research team noted that according to the feedback form distributed to the nurses during the pre-KAP training sessions, the pregnant women in the study were making good progress avoiding smoking. In total, the PEER team conducted seven training sessions at El Demerdash Hospital between September 5 and 11, 2022.

To expand this project, the PEER team established communication with the Egyptian Ministry of Social Affairs and the Childhood Mothers and Childhood Sector in the Ministry of Health and Population. These ministries provided the project with a list of NGOs working in the same sector. The research team selected and met with the NGOs from that list which will join their project activities to discuss approaches to promoting smoking avoidance.
In addition to research and partnership-building, the PEER team held three sessions to improve the capacity of the publication team. The publication team then drafted the first of three paper topics.

In the coming months, the PEER team intends on finalizing and conducting the post-KAP survey for El Demerdash Hospital, following-up with the women who have delivered their babies, continuing to work on the publication process with the publication writing group, and organizing a two day conference.

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