The Tumikia Project was launched in Kwale County in a meeting attended by national, county and sub-county government health and education officers.
This article is an update to our ongoing Tumikia Project.
On a sunny day in coastal Kenya we gathered to launch the TUMIKIA Project in Kwale County. The turnout was impressive, with representatives from the Ministries of Health and Education from Nairobi, members of the county health and education executives, and officers from the county and sub-county health, education and administration ministries. We had a total of 44 attendees.
The meeting opened at 10am with the Minister of Health in Kwale, Dr Chiguzo, giving a great speech in support of the project, citing the TUMIKIA Project as a flagship research study encompassing the expanding community health strategy.
First we had an update on the National School-based Deworming Programme (NSBDP) and the latest monitoring and evaluation (M&E) results of the programme in relation to Kwale presented by Dr Mwandawiro from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). This then led into a discussion of how we would be building on this effective platform and expanding into treatment of the communities leveraging on the successful NSBDP structures. After presenting the study design, implementation and evaluation activities and the accompanying qualitative evaluation we gave the afternoon over to a plenary discussion and open discussion and questions.
Issues relating to randomisation and selection of communities as well as community sensitisation and mobilisation were covered, with representatives from the county commissioner’s office assuring the full support in this innovative project. Additionally the logistics of the intervention delivery and evaluation methods were discussed as the local capacity shall be mobilised for both activities, with teachers and community health workers conducting the school- and community-based deworming and local laboratory technicians and village elders assisting with the parasitology surveys. Finally the deworming drugs to be administered in the TUMIKIA Project as well as the supply chain for delivery were covered. Enthusiastic discussions were held until tea was served at 4pm.
Dr Sitienei, the director the department of communicable disease prevention and control (MOH, Nairobi), was very supportive in the closing remarks of the day, praising the project for its close collaboration between different sectors and initiatives, specifically the lymphatic filiariasis programme. He emphasised the importance of integration and addressing partnerships at every level, in an environment where many disease control programmes are running concurrently.
The next stakeholders meeting will be held in Kwale on 17th November 2014.
If you have any questions, please e-mail katherine [dot] halliday [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk (Katherine Halliday).