To assess community readiness to participate in LF activities (surveys, social mobilisation, MDA and evaluations) in the context of COVID-19 in Kenya.
Evaluation of community directed vector control on transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in a Loa loa co-endemic region
This study will pilot the Slash and Clear methodology in an oncho-Loa loa co-endemic setting. Previous pilots in Uganda and Nigeria have demonstrated that this simple strategy of removing breeding sites can result in significant black fly reductions that last for several months. This study will provide important data on the impact of Slash and Clear on black fly biting, and consequently its impact on oncho elimination. Two intervention and one control community will be compared for two years, with repeated measurements being taken of biting rates.
To determine the appropriate serologic threshold(s) to be used to initiate MDA for onchocerciasis
Integrating Preventive Treatment for Female Genital Schistosomiasis within the National Health System: a Pilot Study in Cote d’Ivoire
This study aims to integrate screening and preventive treatment with praziquantel for FGS into routine HIV and reproductive health care visits for women. A pilot study will be conducted in four health facilities with a target sample size of 4800 women over a six-month period. Trainings will be conducted for health workers and the team will use a participatory design process with key stakeholders to ensure that barriers to integration in the health system and community participation are addressed. A scale-up report will be written with stakeholder engagement and all training materials that were developed will be instantly available for use in other clinics in Cote d’Ivoire. Delivery of praziquantel to the four facilities in the pilot study will utilize existing drug-procurement and delivery systems to ensure sustainability.
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
Haiti, like many other countries, has made considerable progress in the elimination of lymphatic filariasis. To date, 118 out of 140 communes have passed TAS and stopped MDA. However, little is understood about why some communes have persistent transmission despite five or more rounds of MDA. The proposed study aims to identify alternative approaches to MDA that may help to increase access, uptake, and coverage, particularly for individuals who typically do not comply with MDAs. This cluster-randomized design will test a novel approach (door to door strategy) against the standard health post-based delivery method. Additionally, the study aims to identify non-compliant individuals and better understand their reasons for non-participation. Furthermore, a cost analysis will be undertaken as part of this study to understand the potential implications for the country program should the door-to-door strategy prove effective in reaching higher numbers of people.
The Zambia Neglected Tropical Disease Control Programme’s role in the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Zambia: an implementation research study.
This study aims to conduct a landscape analysis to better understand the implementation context for the NTD control programme in Zambia. The activities include:
- an assessment of institutional structures, service delivery systems, existing resources/capacity
- mapping gaps, facilitators, and barriers to program implementation
- identifying potential opportunities to introduce innovative approaches for program integration and improvement.
Key informant interviews and focus group discussions with policy makers and NTD program officers will complement an extensive document review. The results of this assessment will be fed into the next National Health Strategic Plan, which expires in 2021.
Integrating spatial analysis in mixed methods approach to improve MDA Access by reaching underserved and vulnerable populations of Mali in NTD elimination framework
This mixed methods study plans to focus activities around two kinds of mobile, underserved populations: nomadic pastoralists in the rural district of Tominian and economic migrants and displaced groups from conflict areas in the urban district of Kalabancoro. Activities include:
- Quantitative questionnaire with a micro-narrative component. Micro-narratives are an established methodology focused on rapidly collecting qualitative data from a large number of participants
- Spatial analysis of study participants
- In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with health workers and community/opinion leaders
- Integrated analysis of the spatial data with questionnaire and micro-narrative data to better describe trends in the targeted vulnerable populations with respect to accessibility and acceptability of NTD program services
The team aims to combine spatial analysis with qualitative data collection to answer the following research questions:
- What are the factors leading to low coverage of MDA within underserved and vulnerable populations in Malian community?
- How are underserved and vulnerable populations currently being served by the public health interventions/health system?
- How effective and efficient is the ISAMA process for NTDs coverage in underserved and vulnerable populations compared to the current data collection and analysis approach?
- What critical factors influence the use of ISAMA approach in data analysis system process?
- How are characteristics of low coverage geographically distributed and the factors associated in underserved and vulnerable populations?
- Who are the underserved populations and what are their characteristics?
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?
Strategies for the ENdgame: Targeting Infections among Non-compliants in the Elimination of Lymphatic filariasis (SENTINEL)
Non-compliance is a primary barrier to attaining elimination goals. This study aims to utilize data captured in MDA registers to address non-compliance in the Ahanta West District of Ghana, which has been identified as a hotspot of LF transmission with >1% microfilaria (mf) prevalence after 15-16 rounds of MDA. On the basis of information identified in the register, this study proposes to deploy two strategies:
- Engage and Treat individuals who were ill, missed treatment, or were unable to participate during the last MDA, and
- Test and Treat for individuals who might be systemically non-compliant or afraid of adverse events. The use of MDA registers to assist in locating non-compliant individuals is novel and would provide valuable evidence for other programs and represents an alternative strategy for countries struggling with the end game. It may also help provide insight as to whether systematically non-compliant individuals truly serve as a reservoir for LF in areas designated as hotspots. Qualitative data collection will aid in understanding reasons for systematic non-compliance and may lead to changes in social mobilization strategies.