Competency of peripheral health workers in the detection and management of common syndromic conditions is crucial as they are the first point of contact for the majority of the Indian population.
We measured the competency of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), and factors associated with inadequate competency, in the detection and management of common conditions-diarrhoea, acute respiratory tract infection, fever, malaria-through a cross-sectional study using condition specific validated clinical vignettes and structured questionnaires.
Out of 272 selected ANMs, 68% (95% CI 62–74%) were adequately competent. Factors independently associated with inadequate competency were unavailability of essential drugs in preceding month [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.95; 95% CI 1.1–3.5] and ever trained in integrated management of childhood illness (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.4–4.1).
More than two third of the peripheral health workers were adequately competent to detect and manage common conditions. Ensuring uninterrupted drug availability and improved quality in service trainings might facilitate competency levels.
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