Assessing the effectiveness of using the Community Directed Intervention (CDI) approach to improve community ownership of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Malawi
This project intends to assess the effectiveness of using the Community Directed Intervention (CDI) approach as a vehicle for delivery of mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns against targeted NTDs namely, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) such as Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworms), Trichuris trichiura (whip worms) and Ancylostoma sp. (hookworms) in selected districts of Malawi. The idea is to take advantage of the logistical setup, organizational strength and high degree of efficiency of the national NTD programme to improve delivery of the current MDA efforts to control selected and highly prioritized NTDs of schistosomiasis and STH and to enhance community ownership of the interventions in selected rural and remote communities by using the CDI approach. The primary research question is: Can the CDI approach be effectively used to deliver MDA to control NTDs at community level in rural Malawian districts?
A pilot study to identify meaningful and measurable targets for detecting the control of schistosomiasis-related morbidity in Africa. The overall study is designed to answer the following primary evaluation questions:
- What are the infection levels of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium below which there is little, or no, detectable schistosomiasis-associated morbidity?
- What are the optimal morbidity markers for S. mansoni and S. haematobium?
- What are the optimal species-specific morbidity goals for which schistosomiasis control programs should be aiming?
To measure the feasibility of using a PPES sampling approach with segmentation within each EA to measure coverage. In addition to collecting data on coverage the team also used mobile devices to collect data on time and distance traveled as well as the availability of village registers. These data contribute to the larger coverage evaluation study taking place in multiple countries.
Preliminary 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 pilot a newly refined probability sampling with segmentation approach in 2 districts in Malawi. The two surveys found that the survey coverage was above the WHO target thresholds for Zithromax. Furthermore, the team found the survey methodology to be clear and feasible to implement. This adds further evidence to the previous studies that support the use of the segmentation approach for coverage surveys across all 5 PC NTDs.