Following the last SMC cycle in 2015, research groups in each of the 7 ACCESS-SMC countries undertook household surveys to collect information on SMC doses received each month. The surveys also gathered information about adherence to daily doses, reasons for missed doses, and contextual factors including the method that was used for SMC delivery (door-to-door or fixed point). Furthermore, these surveys allowed data collectors to learn about the socioeconomic status and education of the caregiver and discuss the use of other preventive measures for malaria.
“These surveys allowed us to gather key information about the efficiency of SMC delivery during the first year of national scale-up. They now give us an insight into how successful the program was in reaching all eligible children. Preliminary results show that a high proportion of children in target sites were reached during each cycle; over 80%, with good coverage of at least three monthly treatments. Sustaining these achievements will be challenging,” said Paul Milligan, Technical Advisor to the ACCESS-SMC Project, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Information from these surveys highlights possible reasons for differences in levels of coverage and allows us to adapt and improve delivery in preparation for the next season. In order to modify distribution methods before the beginning of the new campaign, it was vital that data was gathered in a timely manner. To facilitate this process, data was captured digitally which meant that results from numerous interviews were quickly uploaded and accessed by researchers and country teams coordinating SMC delivery.
This system of data capture allows us to both monitor and use the data gathered in a timely fashion. Data from the 2015 coverage survey will inform planning for the 2016 campaign, helping local teams to address specific barriers to both access and adherence to SMC.