Projects

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:

  1. 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
  2. Spatial analysis of study participants
  3. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with health workers and community/opinion leaders
  4. 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:

  1. What are the factors leading to low coverage of MDA within underserved and vulnerable populations in Malian community?
  2. How are underserved and vulnerable populations currently being served by the public health interventions/health system?
  3. 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?
  4. What critical factors influence the use of ISAMA approach in data analysis system process?
  5. How are characteristics of low coverage geographically distributed and the factors associated in underserved and vulnerable populations?
  6. Who are the underserved populations and what are their characteristics?
Countries: Mali

Community participatory action research to increase MDA coverage in hard-to-reach urban populations

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.

  1. Rapid ethnographic interviews, a new technique aimed at rapidly collecting and analyzing qualitative data, to gather community feedback regarding barriers in accessing treatment
  2. An intervention development workshop with community leaders, health workers, researchers, and the ministry of health
  3. Deliver the newly designed strategy in Za-Kpota district and compare coverage in urban settings to Ouinhi district
  4. 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
Countries: Benin

The influence of stigma on social participation and mental well-being amongst men and women affected/disabled by lymphatic filariasis and leprosy in the districts of Jaunpur and Patna in India

To what extent does stigma affect social participation and mental wellbeing among men and women affected/disabled by lymphatic filariasis or leprosy in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar?

Countries: India

A knowledge co-production strategy to address systematic non-compliance with MDA for Lymphatic Filariasis in Leogane, Haiti

The researchers propose taking a novel approach to increase coverage and reach previously neglected populations by engaging non-compliant individuals in devising a more effective strategy through a technique called knowledge co-production. The researchers plan to address the following questions:

  1. Can an intervention package co-produced with systematically non-compliant individuals result in increased MDA coverage between the 2019 and 2020 LF MDA rounds?
  2. Who and where are the systematic non-compliers in Leogane and Gressier?
  3. What are the reasons motivating systematic non-compliance?
  4. Is MDA non-compliance associated with hotspots of LF transmission?

The researchers plan the following activities:

  1. A household cluster survey with 1300 individuals of all ages. This will define coverage in the past MDA and identify non-compliant individuals. In addition, ‘hidden’ non-compliers (NCs) will be located by a networking approach (respondent-driven sampling [RDS]).
  2. All NCs will then be eligible to be selected into groups of 10 by age (18-25; 26-50; >50), sex (M, F) and demography (urban/rural). These 12 groups will each work with the national health team to devise new approaches to the non-compliance issue. These will be put into place for the 2020 MDA and then assessed by the co-production strategy groups. After the 2020 MDA a second survey will occur to assess impact.
  3. The relationship between non-compliance and hotspots will be assessed using spatial analysis and defined serologically (FTS and DBS for antibodies) in collaboration with CDC.
Countries: Haiti

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?

Countries: Malawi

Trachomatous Trichiasis and Mental Health: a comparative impact study

This study aims to understand the relationship between trachomatous trichiasis (TT) and mental health disorders over an 18-month study period, by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of the blinding stage of trachoma (Trachomatous Trichiasis) on common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicidality?
  2. Will the validation of the 5-Question Stigma Indicators (5-QSI) generic stigma tool help to measure and monitor stigma in trachomatous trichiasis patients in Ethiopia
  3. What are the drivers for mental disorders in TT patients
  4. Is there a difference in depression, anxiety and suicidality prevalence between TT cases accepting vs declining TT surgery; and un-operated vs postoperative TT cases? The research team will be trained on good clinical practice through the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Following interviews, any patient with TT will be referred for surgery and patients found with a mental health disorder will be referred for care. If a negative impact of blinding trachoma on mental health is noted, the researchers plan to use the results of the study to advocate for additional funding for the trachoma program and highlight the need to address mental health in Ethiopia.
Countries: Ethiopia
Diseases: Trachoma

Investigating the role of drug delivery strategy in MDA drug coverage

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.

Countries: Haiti

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:

  1. Engage and Treat individuals who were ill, missed treatment, or were unable to participate during the last MDA, and
  2. 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.
Countries: Ghana

Pages