Country operational research priorities pending.
1. Can MDA resume and achieve high performance while minimizing risk of COVID-19 transmission through adherence to SOPs?
2. Can local teams easily implement the recommended modifications to MDAs; what is the added cost; and how do the above vary by context?
3. What aspects of local context influence implementation of SOPs?
Urban dwellers have frequently been included as "hard to reach" when examining MDA coverage and uptake. Poor coverage in urban settings is a key factor that prevents programs in some settings from achieving success. This research study proposes a community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) strategy to better understand the reasons why this population isn’t reached and/or their decision not to participate in onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis MDAs. The results will help identify last mile strategies for urban populations and will generate a technical toolkit for how to conduct rapid participatory research in areas that require novel outreach methods amongst hard-to-reach populations. This form of social science methodology has not been used frequently within the NTD community and this proposal offers an opportunity to build the evidence base for these methods within the context of hard to reach populations.
The researchers plan to conduct a number of activities in order to determine the effectiveness of the participatory approach in targeting urban populations as compared to the standard mobilization and delivery approach.
- Rapid ethnographic interviews, a new technique aimed at rapidly collecting and analyzing qualitative data, to gather community feedback regarding barriers in accessing treatment
- An intervention development workshop with community leaders, health workers, researchers, and the ministry of health
- Deliver the newly designed strategy in Za-Kpota district and compare coverage in urban settings to Ouinhi district
- Finalize a rapid participatory approach toolkit and conduct a time-motion study of the approach to improve the business case to the MoH for uptake 5. Surveys and individual interviews with key stakeholders to determine acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of the proposed approach and toolkit
The DeWorm3 Project is a series of hybrid trials testing the feasibility of interrupting the transmission of soil transmitted helminths (STH), while conducting implementation science research that contextualizes clinical research findings and provides guidance on opportunities to optimize delivery of STH interventions.
The purpose of DeWorm3 implementation science studies is to ensure rapid and efficient translation of evidence into practice. Research methods include: (1) stakeholder mapping and network analysis, (2) qualitative research, (3) structural readiness surveys, (4) process mapping, and (5) economic evaluation (costing and cost-effectiveness).
Implementation science research aims include:
1)To systematically identify stakeholders influencing standard of care targeted and community-wide MDA and map their potential role and involvement in scale-up of community-wide MDA for STH.
2)To identify implementation-related barriers and facilitators to community-wide MDA for STH from the perspective of various stakeholders.
3)To quantify the readiness of the health system to deliver community-wide MDA for STH programs.
4)To map the intervention delivery process and identify any discrepancies between planned and implemented activities in order to optimize the trial intervention.
5)To compare the financial and economic costs and incremental cost-effectiveness of community-wide and targeted MDA for STH in the short- and long-term.
To determine whether there is LF transmission in Cotonou and Porto-Novo, which are the two main urban locations of Benin where the LF status is undetermined. A study will be conducted to evaluate the prevalence of LF using antigenemia and antibody testing (FTS and Wb123). An entomological survey will be implemented to understand the dynamic of LF transmission and potential barriers to LF MDA in urban settings.
Preliminary study findings:
- While mass drug administration (MDA) in Benin is on track to eliminate LF in most endemic cities, 50 such cities – including the country’s largest cities, Cotonou and Porto Novo – never received treatements.
- In 2016, more than 15 years after mapping, LF endemicity was re-evaluated in Cotonou and Porto Novo to put in place adequate strategies for LF elimination. This study constituted that re-mapping effort.
- The various surveys, conducted in vectors and humans through collection of entomological and parasitological data, reveal an absence of LF transmission in Cotonou and Porto Novo.
- The results demonstrate that the number of cities endemic for LF in Benin has dropped from 50 to 48.
- However, the study revealed a lack of awareness of LF by residents and health workers, highlighting the need for more education and awareness raising on the disease.
Pilot Assessment of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis in the Context of Transmission Assessment Surveys for Lymphatic Filariasis in Benin and Tonga. A transmission assessment survey (TAS) is recommended to determine if MDA for LF can be stopped within an evaluation unit (EU) after at least five rounds of annual treatment. The TAS also provides an opportunity to simultaneously assess the impact of these MDAs on STH and to determine the frequency of school-based MDA for STH after community-wide MDA is no longer needed for LF.