Transmission break for STH and SCH in the Wolaita zone of SNNPR region of Southern Ethiopia

National deworming programmes rely almost exclusively on the mass drug administration (MDA) to children to control morbidity caused by these parasitic infections. The provision of water, hygiene and sanitation (WaSH) as well as behaviour change communication (BCC) interventions should allow disease reductions achieved through drug distribution to be sustained once transmission has been broken.

Mathematically modelling by LCNTDR researchers indicates that the transmission of some parasitic worms can be broken in some settings through provision of multiple interventions. This has not been attempted at scale in a developing country through the existing health system.

The research initiative known as the Geshiaro project, aims to break transmission of worms at scale in Wolaita zone in Ethiopia through the implementation of expanded drug treatment, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) activities, Behaviour change communication (BCC campaigns), and the implementation of a biometric fingerprint tool. 

This project is innovative because it is the first large-scale deworming initiative that also will evaluate the impact of different treatment strategies and WaSH, using biometric finger print technology to improve coverage and compliance of treatment.

Biometric finger print enables accurate identification & tracking of individual inhabitants who are recorded in the population census and subsequently receive deworming tablets in the MDA campaigns. Furthermore, latrines & clean water sources are not widely available in the region and the culture of good sanitation practice needs to be supported. Fingerprint technology will be used to track households who have poor sanitation facilities and will be used follow the progress of the WaSH intervention coverage. 

In preparation of implementing this project, field testing (technical feasibility and community acceptability testing) of both the fingerprint technology, the census and MDA questionnaires are required to understand specific contextual requirements for optimal functioning of the tools. Findings from the field testing will subsequently be used by EPHI and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (FMOH) to finalise the Gashiyaro field tools.

LCNTDR primary role within the research project is to provide technical support and capacity building to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) in the evaluation of the Geshiaro project. The implementation of the project will be carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) for treatment and World Vision Ethiopia (WVE) for the implementation of WaSH infrastructure and BCC activities. The finger print technology will be provided by Simprints.

Primary LCNTDR organisation