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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Feb 8;12(2):e0006211. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006211. eCollection 2018 Feb.

Strategies to improve treatment coverage in community-based public health programs: A systematic review of the literature.

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Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
DeWorm3, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.
Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.



Community-based public health campaigns, such as those used in mass deworming, vitamin A supplementation and child immunization programs, provide key healthcare interventions to targeted populations at scale. However, these programs often fall short of established coverage targets. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of strategies used to increase treatment coverage in community-based public health campaigns.


We systematically searched CAB Direct, Embase, and PubMed archives for studies utilizing specific interventions to increase coverage of community-based distribution of drugs, vaccines, or other public health services. We identified 5,637 articles, from which 79 full texts were evaluated according to pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty-eight articles met inclusion criteria and data were abstracted regarding strategy-specific changes in coverage from these sources. Strategies used to increase coverage included community-directed treatment (n = 6, pooled percent change in coverage: +26.2%), distributor incentives (n = 2, +25.3%), distribution along kinship networks (n = 1, +24.5%), intensified information, education, and communication activities (n = 8, +21.6%), fixed-point delivery (n = 1, +21.4%), door-to-door delivery (n = 1, +14.0%), integrated service distribution (n = 9, +12.7%), conversion from school- to community-based delivery (n = 3, +11.9%), and management by a non-governmental organization (n = 1, +5.8%).


Strategies that target improving community member ownership of distribution appear to have a large impact on increasing treatment coverage. However, all strategies used to increase coverage successfully did so. These results may be useful to National Ministries, programs, and implementing partners in optimizing treatment coverage in community-based public health programs.

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