Determine whether school-based TAS results in the same programmatic conclusion as a community-based TAS in EUs where school attendance is poor.
Preliminary Findings and Lessons Learned
This USAID project represents an innovative approach to resolve critical questions about the performance of the TAS and in particular, the question of how important 75% school attendance is to a valid TAS result. At its core, this study addresses the concern that LF (specifically antigenemia) could be associated with school attendance, which leads to the programmatic research question: does a school-based TAS result in the same programmatic conclusion as a community-based TAS in EUs where school attendance is poor? This study will lead to a better understanding of the validity of the TAS in programmatic settings where school attendance and/or reporting of school enrollment may be poor. It will also generate important results for the Haitian program that is looking to the TAS for guidance on stopping MDA in several EUs. The school- and community-based TAS were both conducted in a commune considered to be highly endemic (‘zone rouge’) at baseline. Both surveys passed the TAS, with only 1 ICT positive child identified in the school TAS and 4 ICT-positive children in the community-based TAS. The conclusion is that there appears to be no meaningful difference between school- and community-based TAS for stopping MDA decisions, even where school attendance is poor. This is the third LFSC/NTDSC study to return a null result -- perhaps it can now be considered a "non-issue" for LF.