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?
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.
To compare the sensitivity of double-slide Kato-Katz and multi-parallel real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the detection of Ascaris, hookworm, and Trichuris infection among children in rural Bangladesh
Are NTD programs in Anambra State, Nigeria, adopting and implementing prevention measures for COVID-19 in their drug delivery activities? What adaptations are required by staff and volunteers to adopt these measures? What are the barriers to doing so? What are the incremental costs associated with conducting MDA during a global pandemic?
To compare coverage evaluation methods to identify a method that is statistically rigorous and feasible for programs. This study will focus on assessing MDA coverage for lymphatic filariasis by comparing the cost, time and feasibility of 3 different methods: the EPI approach (n=1768), LQAS design (n=95) and probability sampling alternatives (n=1768).
Primary 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 address the 1st and 3rd points by comparing the feasibility of three different coverage survey methods (EPI approach, LQAS, and segmentation). This study was completed in 3 districts in Burkina Faso. All 3 districts found that their survey coverage was above the WHO target threshold (65% for LF). Furthermore, in all 3 cases the survey coverage validated (or nearly validated) the reported coverage. Taken together this suggests that the Burkina Faso program is working well. The feasibility results found all 3 methods to be very similar with regards to time, cost and perceived difficulty. Because only the segmentation approach results in a probability sample, this method was recommended by the M&E Working Group and ultimately approved by the STAG. Since the approval, significant work has been underway to create guidelines for conducting coverage surveys for preventive chemotherapy. An excel tool was created to improve the usability of the tool and online learning modules are currently in the works.