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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 2022

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:

In the second quarter of 2022, the project team completed its outreach, training, and data collection at Ministry of Health facilities. Care providers in the Cairo governorate were trained on effective methodologies to communicate the issues of smoking around infants, which enabled the team to reach a wider group of women, sharing the intervention with them and their families. Roughly 11 health care units were involved in this endeavor resulting in over 1000 new participants in the post survey intervention.

The project team was also able to engage with El Demerdash Educational Hospital to begin onboarding the project survey and schedule trainings with staff. El Demerdash hospital data collection targeted 400 participating women and training will commence in July 2022.

The team also conducted data review and verification during this time, evaluating the data system being used during the post-survey and identifying drawbacks while discussing improvement capacities concerning performance and data quality. Survey and project data was entered into the research application and reviewed to assure the data quality. This included qualitative data from the interventions of 572 women who accepted to participate in the women follow up questionnaire.

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