Intervention to Reduce Parental Bypass of Community Pediatric Primary Health Facilities in Asmara, Eritrea

JoAnne E Natale, Ellen Hamburger, Mussie Aman, Woldu Asmerom, Amal Faisal, Fitsum Gebremichael, Solomon Haile, Meroni Maekele, Mahmud Mohammed, Dawit Tesfaye, Belai Ghiorghis, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To reduce direct parental referral of low acuity ill pediatric patients to the outpatient facilities of a nation's only pediatric referral hospital. Patients and Methods: Longitudinal monitoring of outpatient visits at Orotta Children's Hospital (OCH) and primary health facilities (PHFs) following implementation of an intervention designed in response to information provided by parents and health-care providers. Parental surveys were undertaken before and after exposure to the intervention to assess effects on knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Results: We analyzed 5,639 visits between baseline and follow-up, documenting a decline in parental referral among OCH outpatients from 95% to approximately 80%. Educational intervention increased the proportion of parents intending to use PHF for future outpatient care from 28% to 82%. Staff of the PHFs responded enthusiastically to this intervention program and requested further activities. Conclusions: Self-referral to tertiary care hospital was reduced following a modest program of parental education designed and implemented by residents in training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of primary care & community health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • community health
  • developing nation
  • health services accessibility
  • pediatric
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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