A Programmatic Comparison of School- and Community-Based TAS

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.

Countries: Haiti

The Impact of WASH on Re-infection with STH

Study the impact of WASH on Trachoma by adding an STH intervention and post-treatment evaluation. WASH intervention and control communities will be treated with albendazole and STH burden will be assessed pre-treatment and at annual intervals thereafter.

Countries: Ethiopia

Evaluation of CCA urine-tests for diagnosis of Schistosoma guineensis infection in Cameroon

To determine if the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) rapid diagnostic test is as effective as the Kato-Katz (KK) test in diagnosing S. guinensis

Countries: Cameroon
Diseases: Schistosomiasis

mHealth Platforms - Operational Research to optimize approaches to improve data flow and accounting

Determine the best data-capture system and implementation model to overcome data flow challenges faced by national MDA programs. Test and compare the effectiveness of 4 different data-tracking platforms currently in use (or development) in NTD endemic countries: 1) Build on existing national capacity, 2) Cloud-based SMS system, 3) Robo-call platform.

Preliminary study findings:

o The current process for tracking treatment information through paper-based forms can be complicated and leaves room for human error, as multiple aggregations of data must be collected manually between administrative levels before reaching the national level. 

o This study found that the process of collecting and reporting paper records on the stock and delivery of ivermectin, albendazole and Praziquantel took between two and three months. 

o The study found that robo-call surveys have the potential to add a new stream of information on drug stock between national supervisors and sub-district implementation teams, allowing program staff to take corrective actions in response to issues with drug supply.

o The proactive timing of the calls as well as the interactive component of responding to verbal questions through the phone makes this system useful to supervisors. 

o Robo-calls were found to be helpful to monitor drug levels prior to MDA at sub-district level and to ensure appropriate quantities of drug stock were reaching lower administrative level, but as post-MDA drug stock is returned to the district level, physical observation of district-level storerooms was the most effective way to assess drug quantities post-MDA.  

o SMS reporting made data accessible at the national level and to administrative units in real time. 

o Less than half of the registered supervisors submitted SMS reports, resulting in a significant difference in the number and type of treatments reported when compared to paper forms. 

o Greater training and ongoing management is needed to take full advantage of the speed and data accuracy improvements from robo-call and SMS surveys.


Countries: Uganda

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the trachoma surveillance strategy and the use of alternative diagnostic indicators to validate the elimination of blinding trachoma in Ghana

To determine if PCR or serology techniques are better than TF for assessing Trachoma prevalence during the surveillance phase of Trachoma Elimination Programs.

Countries: Ghana
Diseases: Trachoma | Yaws

Integrated Surveillance for Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis

Innovative approach to exploit ongoing STH- SCH survey to conduct integrated surveillance for LF and oncho that will serve as a model for other programs

Countries: Togo

Ab assessment by multiplex for LF, Trachoma, and Yaws

Determine the age prevalence of LF antibody following MDA to inform surveillance strategies. Yaws and trachoma testing will also occur during the survey.

Countries: Fiji