Evaluation of an interactive electronic health education tool in rural Afghanistan.

Glen Kim*, Suzanne Griffin, Hedeyat Nadem, Jawad Aria, Lynn Lawry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Low education levels may limit community-based health worker (CHW) efforts in rural Afghanistan. In 2004, LeapFrog Enterprises and the United States Department of Health and Human Services developed the Afghan Family Health Book (AFHB), an interactive, electronic picture book, to communicate public health messages in rural Afghanistan. Changes in health knowledge among households exposed to the AFHB vs. CHWs were compared. METHODS: From January-June 2005, baseline and follow-up panel surveys were administered in Pashto-speaking Laghman and Dari-speaking Kabul provinces. Within each province, an AFHB and a CHW district were randomly sampled using a stratified, 2-staged cluster sample design (total 98 clusters and 3,372 households). Surveys tested knowledge of 17 health domains at baseline and on follow-up at three months. For each domain, multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the effect of the AFHB on followup pass rates, controlling for demographics and differences in baseline knowledge. RESULTS: Both AFHB and CHW resulted in statistically significant changes in pass rates on follow-up, although there were greater gains among AFHB users for five domains among Pashto-speakers (micronutrients, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, postpartum care, and breast-feeding) and seven domains among Dari-speakers (diet, malaria, mental health, birth-spacing, and prenatal/neonatal/postpartum care). Community-based health workers effected greater knowledge gains only for the Dari breast-feeding module. Participants favored CHW over the AFHB, which they found poorly translated and difficult to use. CONCLUSIONS: The AFHB has potential to improve public health knowledge among rural Afghans. Future efforts may benefit from involvement of local health agencies and the integration of interactive technology with traditional CHW approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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