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Community-based field implementation scenarios of a short message service reporting tool for lymphatic filariasis case estimates in Africa and Asia

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Mableson, Hayley, Martindale, Sarah, Stanton, Michelle ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1754-4894, Mackenzie, Charles and Kelly-Hope, Louise ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3330-7629 (2017) 'Community-based field implementation scenarios of a short message service reporting tool for lymphatic filariasis case estimates in Africa and Asia'. mHealth, Vol 3, e28.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) targeted for global elimination by 2020. Currently there is considerable international effort to scale-up morbidity management activities in endemic countries, however there remains a need for rapid, cost-effective methods and adaptable tools for obtaining estimates of people presenting with clinical manifestations of LF, namely lymphoedema and hydrocele. The mHealth tool 'MeasureSMS-Morbidity' allows health workers in endemic areas to use their own mobile phones to send clinical information in a simple format using short message service (SMS). The experience gained through programmatic use of the tool in five endemic countries across a diversity of settings in Africa and Asia is used here to present implementation scenarios that are suitable for adapting the tool for use in a range of different programmatic, endemic, demographic and health system settings.

METHODS:

A checklist of five key factors and sub-questions was used to determine and define specific community-based field implementation scenarios for using the MeasureSMS-Morbidity tool in a range of settings. These factors included: (I) tool feasibility (acceptability; community access and ownership); (II) LF endemicity (high; low prevalence); (III) population demography (urban; rural); (IV) health system structure (human resources; community access); and (V) integration with other diseases (co-endemicity).

RESULTS:

Based on experiences in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania, four implementation scenarios were identified as suitable for using the MeasureSMS-Morbidity tool for searching and reporting LF clinical case data across a range of programmatic, endemic, demographic and health system settings. These include: (I) urban, high endemic setting with two-tier reporting; (II) rural, high endemic setting with one-tier reporting; (III) rural, high endemic setting with two-tier reporting; and (IV) low-endemic, urban and rural setting with one-tier reporting.

CONCLUSIONS:

A decision-making framework built from the key factors and questions, and the resulting four implementation scenarios is proposed as a means of using the MeasureSMS-Morbidity tool. This framework will help national LF programmes consider appropriate methods to implement a survey using this tool to improve estimates of the clinical burden of LF. Obtaining LF case estimates is a vital step towards the elimination of LF as a public health problem in endemic countries.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 83 Telemedicine (General)
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 546 Local Health Administration. Community Health Services
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2017.06.06
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 10:06
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 10:06
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/7543

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