Amagugu Asakhula is a feasibility study of a family-based intervention promoting healthy behaviours among preschool-aged children in Soweto, South Africa. The study involves training community health workers to deliver the intervention to parents or caregivers, and investigating different aspects of the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention.
The intervention is being implemented with community health workers and caregivers of preschool-aged children in Soweto. The primary aim is to assess whether the intervention is feasible to deliver through community health workers, and whether participating community health workers and caregivers find it acceptable and helpful. The study also examines how the process of recruiting community health workers and caregivers can work in this setting.
The intervention was designed based on a successful programme focusing on paediatric HIV disclosure in South Africa. It aims to strengthen caregivers’ role in supporting their children’s development. This is done over six weekly one-hour sessions delivered by trained community health workers in the home. Each session covers a health-related topic, and utilises “healthy conversations” between the caregiver and the community health worker, as well as activities promoting nurturing interactions between the preschool-aged child and the caregiver.
The name Amagugu Asakhula means “treasures that are still growing” in isiZulu, a local language. The intervention is based around the idea of children being precious, and that if parents learn about what can help or hinder young children’s growth and development, they can feel more empowered to establish healthy habits and routines in the home. The intervention is delivered in a respectful and supportive way, taking family circumstances and caregivers’ unique situations into consideration at each stage.