Country operational research priorities pending.
The study aims to identify the most effective approaches for case management and delivery of surgical services for IDPs and migrants suffering from LF and/or trachoma in security compromised areas. Barriers to reaching morbidity patients will be assessed, in addition to determinants of the institutionalizatoin of NTD morbidity management within the national health system. Research aims will be addressed through the following key activities: document review and direct inspection protocols to determine health facilities' ability to provide MMDP services; active case finding including creation of WhatsApp groups and SMS messaging to help keep track of patients and refer them to care; key informant interviews with health workers and community leaders to assess behavior change communication strategies for raising awareness among affected individuals; one-on-one interviews and focus group discussions with patients to understand barriers to care; and stakeholder engagement to increase buy-in and identify ways to operationalize MMDP services within national program.
- What factors are associated with the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of MDA?
- What is the impact of an adapted and tailored intervention package on effective coverage?
Identify the sampling strategy for tracking positive cases after TAS 2 and TAS 3 that optimizes the chances of correctly identifying evidence of active transmission, while saving program resources
To compare the performance of the diagnostic tools currently available for O. volvulus in terms of their relative sensitivity, species-specificity and practical use by countries. Comparison of the utility of these tools for mapping and surveillance in settings with different levels of endemicity for onchocerciasis (Oncho), lymphatic filariasis (LF) and/or loiasis.
To study the feasibility of LF and Oncho (Filariases) integrated transmission assessment survey (iTAS) according to both LF and Onchocerciasis WHO elimination guidelines
To determine the feasibility of the use of entomological traps by community members for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis entomological assessments.
Compare coverage evaluation methods to identify a method that is statistically rigorous and feasible for programs. This study will focus on assessing MDA coverage for lymphatic filariasis by comparing the cost, time and feasibility of 3 different methods: the EPI approach (n=1768), LQAS design (n=95) and probability sampling alternatives (n=1768).
Primary Findings and Lessons Learned
Coverage surveys are an important tool for programs to evaluate their reporting systems and to determine whether effective MDA coverage has been achieved. However, for various reasons coverage surveys are seldom implemented. Some key challenges are: perceived technical difficulty, lack of resources, and lack of standardized guidance on how to conduct coverage surveys. This protocol seeks to address the 1st and 3rd points by comparing the feasibility of three different coverage survey methods (EPI approach, LQAS, and segmentation). This study was completed in 3 districts in Burkina Faso. All 3 districts found that their survey coverage was above the WHO target threshold (65% for LF). Furthermore, in all 3 cases the survey coverage validated (or nearly validated) the reported coverage. Taken together this suggests that the Burkina Faso program is working well. The feasibility results found all 3 methods to be very similar with regards to time, cost and perceived difficulty. Because only the segmentation approach results in a probability sample, this method was recommended by the M&E Working Group and ultimately approved by the STAG. Since the approval, significant work has been underway to create guidelines for conducting coverage surveys for preventive chemotherapy. An excel tool was created to improve the usability of the tool and online learning modules are currently in the works.