Pregnancy & Infancy

Philani Mentor Mother Programme

A long-term cluster randomised controlled trial, measuring the impact of a Mentor Mother home visiting programme on maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes

"Mentor Mothers" from the community are trained to deliver home visits during pregnancy and postpartum, addressing issues such as HIV, alcohol use and malnutrition. The Philani birth cohort has been followed up into middle childhood. 

South Africa:


Cape Town

1239 pregnant women & their infants

Assessed at pregnancy, post-birth, 6, 18, 36mo, 5yrs, 8 yrs

Home visiting intervention  

Thula Sana (Hush Baby)

A randomised control trial of a home-visiting programme aimed at promoting mothers’ engagement in sensitive and responsive interactions with their infants

Trained and supervised community health workers delivers the Thula Sana intervention, starting in the last trimester of pregnancy, and continuing for six months after birth. The Thula Sana birth cohort has been followed up into late adolescence. 

South Africa:


Cape Town

449 pregnant women

& their infants

Assessed at 6, 12 & 18mo, at 12-14yrs

and 16-19yrs

Home visiting intervention 

Eastern Cape Supervision Study (ECSS)

A cluster randomised control trial, evaluating whether increased supervision and support for South African government health workers improves maternal and child health

Community health workers employed by the Eastern Cape Department of Health are trained and supervised using the Philani home visiting model. 

South Africa:

OR Tambo district, 

Eastern Cape

840 pregnant women

& their infants

Assessed during pregnancy, 3, 6, 15, and 24mo post-birth

Philani home visiting intervention model 


Reducing mortality and morbidity in under-5's in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: An outcome and process evaluation of the ENABLE Mentor Mother intervention 


Enable is a community-based home visiting programme that connects pregnant women/mothers and their infants to health education, social support, and onwards referrals through a locally-recruited “Mentor Mother” workforce. A process evaluation aims to identify how implementation and contextual factors influence programme outcomes.

South Africa:

OR Tambo district, Eastern Cape

470 vulnerable mother-child


Pregnancy until

12mo post-birth

ENABLE home visiting intervention 

Evidence for Better Lives Study (EBLS) 

An epidemiological study of exposure to violence and adversity during pregnancy in eight low- and middle- income countries (Ghana, Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam)

A total of 1200 pregnant women (150 in each site) are assessed during the last trimester of pregnancy and 2-6 months after birth. The South African research site is based in Worcester. 

South Africa: 


Western Cape

150 pregnant women & their infants

Assessed during

pregnancy and

2-6mo after birth


intervention component

Alcohol use during pregnancy in rural Lesotho 

A qualitative study of prenatal alcohol consumption among pregnant women and mothers in Mokhotlong, Lesotho. 

Pregnant women and mothers with young children are interviewed to explore local perceptions of, and motivations for, alcohol consumption during pregnancy and associated practices.



40 pregnant

women & mothers of young children

Cross-sectional; qualitative study


intervention component

Young Children Affected by HIV/AIDS Initiative

Implementing a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Strategy for the  Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's Young Children Affected by HIV/AIDS Initiative.


The Initiative seeks to improve the developmental outcomes of all young children (from birth to five) in five focus African countries through ensuring quality evidence-based programmes, strengthening systems and building an evidence base for early childhood development. 

Kenya, Malawi,

Zambia, Mozambique, 


Young children

& caregivers; community-based organisations

A variety of monitoring and evaluation activities

Various interventions across five countries

Zithulele Births Follow Up Study (ZiBFUS)

Information about infants in the first two years of life, living in the OR Tambo district of the Eastern Cape of South Africa


ZiBFUS gathers information about infants to build a comprehensive picture of healthcare, feeding practices, HIV, social support, mental health, food security and infant disease and mortality in this rural South African community.

South Africa:

OR Tambo district, 

Eastern Cape

478 mothers

and their infants

Assessed at 3, 6, 9,

12 and 24mo





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