Enhanced Group Antenatal Care for Adolescents in Mali
Sarah Murray and colleagues of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Nursing in the U.S. along with colleagues at the University of Bamako in Mali will develop a group approach to provide better antenatal care to pregnant adolescents in Mali and protect them from common mental disorders such as depression. Over half of adolescent girls in Mali have a child before their 18th birthday, and as a consequence are more likely to live in poverty, be uneducated, and experience violence. Although antenatal health services and support are available, they are limited. To address this, they will develop a group format for more efficient delivery of antenatal mental health care that encourages open discussions and provides social networks and support. This will be done in collaboration with adolescent mothers, their husbands, and health care providers. They will train health care workers to teach relevant coping strategies in a group format using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, and pilot test their approach on small groups of pregnant adolescents with partners in Bamako, Mali.