From 2011-2014, the Programme for the Awareness and Elimination of childhood Diarrhoea (PAED) at CIDRZ organized and implemented interventions to decrease overall and diarrhoea-related post-neonatal Under 5 child mortality in Lusaka Province. These interventions included the early roll-out of the rotavirus vaccine in a facility-based study and community-based behaviour change programming to improve child hygiene, feeding and diarrhoea treatment practices.
As PAED began activities, CIDRZ initiated the Baseline of ACADEMIC (A Comprehensive Assessment of Diarrhoea and Enteric Disease Management in Children) to establish the pre-intervention levels of child mortality and diarrhoea-related morbidity. Baseline included a multi-centre facility study to evaluate rotavirus vaccine effectiveness as well as a paper-based community survey reaching over 21,000 households in 220 Census Supervisory Areas to estimate child mortality.
After completion of the ACADEMIC Baseline and all PAED activities, training for the ACADEMIC Endline study commenced in January 2015. A study team of 16 Team Leaders and 46 Team Members were trained to conduct household-based surveys using Nexus 7 handheld tablets and Endline household data collection commenced in late February. In addition to meeting their data collection responsibilities, study staff members have also attended bi-weekly all-team meetings. There, they have received professional development training to increase their knowledge of health topics and enhance their research presentation skills. These efforts have boosted the confidence and morale of all staff to perform to the best of their potential.
The ACADEMIC Endline survey is the first tablet-based CIDRZ research study to successfully use electronic data capture in the field. It also marks the first time Open Data Kit-based survey programming and database generation has been managed in-house. ACADEMIC Endline data collection is projected to complete by mid- July of 2015.