Piloting the Supervisor's Coverage Tool in Cross River State, Nigeria

To pilot a rapid coverage supervision tool (now known as the Supervisor's Coverage Tool) that can be used to determine if the supervision areas under investigation are likely to have exceeded the WHO threshold for coverage and to serve as an in-process monitoring tool for supervising the MDA distribution. Report to WHO M&E working group; potential for inclusion in future WHO program assessment guidelines.

The Supervisor’s Coverage Tool (SCT) is a quick, simple, and inexpensive monitoring tool that can be used to assess preventive chemotherapy coverage of a mass drug administration (MDA). During the development and optimization process of the tool, the SCT was piloted in communities in Nigeria and Ethiopia. The pilot study in Cross River State, Nigeria, included seven first-level Supervision Areas (SA), which corresponded to villages in four Local Government Areas (LGAs). Drug coverage was assessed for ivermectin and albendazole in four SAs and only Ivermectin in three SAs. 

Findings and lessons learned:

-          The main reasons for not swallowing medicines were community drug distributor (CDD) not showing up, respondent being away at time of drug distribution or not collecting drug from a fixed point of distribution, fear of side effects, drug supply running out, recent migration, and lack of awareness about drug distribution.

-          The SCT permitted LGA coordinators to supervise the drug distribution systematically, which allowed them to find out that in most parts of one LGA treatment was suspended despite the CDD claiming the completion of treatment in the area.

-          Some treatment registers did not include all people living in the SA, therefore some households were not included in the CDDs treatment boundaries. On the other hand, some LGAs had very good treatment registers, proper documentation of treatment from CDDs, and their community also commended them during village gatherings expressing their gratitude.

-          All CDDs were making remarkable effort with little or no reward. Unlike previous monitoring visits where supervisors have to field numerous complaints around incentives, because the SCT gave supervisors an objective evaluation of their work, many CDDs did not feel justified in complaining about incentives.

-          Overall, the SCT was deemed feasible to implement at the supervisory area and the information generated led to programmatic action to improve treatment coverage.

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