This month, the Health Campaign Effectiveness (HCE) Coalition is pleased to announce the addition of a new award to its portfolio of research projects. HCE will be teaming up with the Bruyère Research Institute at the University of Ottawa to fund a new qualitative study on zero dose/never treated populations in Ghana and Indonesia, including neglected tropical diseases, vaccinations, insecticide treated net distribution, vitamin A supplementation and other interventions.
The project, titled “Exploring patterns of non-participation across multiple health campaigns,” will take place over a period of about six months. It aims to explore the potential that “never treatment” (or residents of homes that never received any treatment during a health campaign) is a household phenomenon that spans more than one health domain. The exploratory study will take place in selected regions of Ghana and Indonesia, and will address important gaps in our current understanding of the intersection of health system, community and community health volunteers during the delivery of public health campaigns.
“The issue of ‘never treatment’ and ‘zero dose’ has been raised as one of importance by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance as well as by partners during a recent Coalition for Operational Research meeting for NTDs (November 2021),” said the Bruyère Research Institute team. “Our research team hypothesizes that households that miss NTD treatment offered during MDA may also be missing vaccinations, bed net delivery and/or health information related to other health campaigns (COVID-19, water and sanitation). We believe that the characteristics of the household may be similar and may provide opportunities for more efficiency during campaign delivery to reinforce participation across the different campaigns. In addition, efforts to boost coverage in one campaign area may be applied to another campaign.”
The project joins HCE’s current portfolio of 20 studies spanning more than 20 countries. Findings from the first set of implementation research projects, focused on collaborative planning for integrated campaigns, are available here; reports from HCE-supported implementation research awards studying campaign integration and transition of campaigns to health systems will be available later this year.
“With COVID-19, the public health community has witnessed the stark disparities and inequities that the pandemic has highlighted globally,” said the research team. “As campaigns restart, ensuring that there is sufficient coverage of the delivery of commodities will also ensure that people who have previously been left behind will be included in the reach.”