If you’re like me and not a public health expert, you may not understand how much work goes into accurately measuring and analyzing the success of a de-worming campaign like ours. I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the procedures undertaken in our recent study. Below are sections pulled from the report based on laboratory analysis and surveying.
We carried out an evaluation of the project by conducting questionnaires to school headteachers and pupils and examined stool and urine from 250 children from 10 schools who had participated in the deworming programme.
Children were asked to urinate into a wide-mouthed plastic container. After stirring, urine was drawn into a plastic syringe, the volume measured, and the urine passed through a filter holder containing a Nucleopore TM filter of2.5mm diameter and 12μm pore size. Subsequently, the syringe was half-filled with air and this was passed through the filter to ensure the passage of all urine. The membrane was then removed with forceps and scanned at low magnification(x4) with a microscope.
Macrohaematuria was used to measure heavy infection/high morbidity. Presence of blood in urine is a good indicator of pathological conditions in the bladder. This can also assess the potential of anaemia in the children in endemic area. Any child with urine-which was red (or pink) in colour was regarded as positive.
Interview and questionnaires
A simple standard questionnaire was administered to a sample of 500 respondents in 10 primary schools. The study population was drawn from the 58 Primary schools with an enrollment of 56,313 pupils in Ganze and Vitengeni Divisions in Kilifi district. We used both purposive and random sampling to identify the study area, schools and the respondents. The criteria for selection of the 10 schools and 500 respondents were done through the zoning of schools to ensure equitable representation. We also considered acceptability and accessibility. Ballot papers were prepared for random sampling of the schools while school registers were used to identify respondents from which sampling was done. A qualitative questionnaire was administered to all respondents including teachers by the Public health officers from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
It thus gives us confidence that we’re measuring our performance accurately and in turn truly helping the community in our work. If you have any feedback on ways we could improve or enhance our evaluation process for future work, we would love to hear from you! You can leave your comments on this post, or find us on Twitter at @kilifikids.