The impact of approaches in improving male partner involvement in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV on the uptake of safe infant feeding practices by HIV positive women in sub-Saharan Africa. A systematic review and meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: The low level of male partner involvement in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV services such as safe infant feeding practices poses a serious challenge to the implementation of guidelines on safe infant feeding and may undermine efforts towards elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV in sub Saharan Africa(SSA). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the approaches that have been utilized to improve male partner involvement in PMTCT services as well as their impact on the uptake of safe infant feeding practices by HIV positive mothers in SSA. METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, Ovid Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane library,, Web of Science and Current Controlled Trials were searched. Only studies performed in SSA that reported an approach that specifically involved male partners and its impact on the uptake of safe infant feeding practices (irrespective of the language and date of publication) were included. Odds ratios were extracted or calculated from studies and combined in a meta-analysis using the statistical package Stata version 11.0. Forest plots were generated using the random effect model. RESULTS: From an initial 2416 non-duplicate articles, 06 articles were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The overall pooled unadjusted OR was 3.08[95%CI: 2.58-3.68], while the effect sizes for interventions aimed at promoting male partner involvement such as verbal encouragement, complex community intervention and enhanced psychosocial interventions were 1.93[95%CI: 1.34-2.79], 3.45[95%CI: 2.79-4.25] and 5.14[95%CI: 2.42-10.90] respectively. Using only adjusted odd ratios, the pooled adjusted OR = 1.78[95%CI: 1.35-2.34]. The I2 = 60.1% p = 0.057 using adjusted ORs. CONCLUSION: Interventions aimed at promoting male partner involvement such as enhanced psychosocial interventions, verbal encouragement and complex community interventions increase the uptake of safe infant feeding options. The heterogeneity was moderate among studies. More studies including randomised trials that will recruit larger, representative samples of patients are needed in the future. Prospero registration number: 42016032673


Takah NF, Atem JA, Aminde LN, Malisheni M, Murewenhema G




  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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