PTBi East Africa Rwanda Group Care
PTBi East Africa designed and implemented a group care model focused on antenatal and postnatal care. Our group care model, developed by the Rwanda Technical Working Group, sought to improve health outcomes through the provision of a supportive peer group for women throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience. For the first hour of these sessions, groups received semi-private health assessments and conducted self-measurements. The second hour was a facilitated group discussion whereby women learned more about pregnancy and shared personal experiences. This method of group care has been shown to improve health outcomes and increase patient satisfaction, particularly among high-risk women.
This was a cluster-randomized trial with four arms across 36 health centers in Rwanda. The primary objective was to assess the impact of group care on gestational age at birth. Two of the four arms had a secondary intervention that included urine pregnancy testing by community health workers and ultrasound offered at the health center during antenatal care. Ultimately, we did not observe a significant difference in gestational age at birth between women receiving group antenatal care versus those receiving standard individual antenatal care. These results are pending publication, and more information can be found on our project website.