The Friendship Hospital Shyamnagar (FHS) in the south of Bangladesh was visited by the Friendship partners of the PRESCRIP-TEC project in May. A team led by Ms. Anika Rahman, Research Officer at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) travelled from Dhaka to conduct baseline microplanning, AWACAN KOBO training for the baseline survey, and various other activities.
Lessons learned from a previous baseline field visit to Gaibandha in the North provided useful information for the initial phase of implementing the project in the South.
Meeting with the civil surgeon
The team had the opportunity to have a sensitization meeting with the civil surgeon, Ms. Rowshan Ara Zaman Sir, GoB at the Sathkira Sader Hospital. The PRESCRIP-TEC project was discussed, and also the planned assessment of the Friendship Community MedicAids (FCMs) on HPV, and of the mHealth FCMs who received HPV awareness training.
Practice in TAB using KOBO Tool
Ms. Anika Rahman conducted training for the baseline survey on the AWACAN questionnaire using the KOBO tool for data recording. This training was provided for nine data-collectors who will be working in the south of the country.
Cervical cancer is a newly emerging disease in the South. Therefore, it is essential to provide the FCMs and data collectors with adequate training. Role-plays were done by Dr.Umma Kulsum to help the FCMs gain confidence so that they will be able to perform well in the field.
Lessons learned in Gaibandha
The Gaibandha micro planning and baseline experience in the field is contributing to eliminating potential problems in the intervention and control areas when starting up the PRESCRIP-TEC project in other regions. These are some highlights:
– Interpersonal relationships are key to improving cooperation between partners. The regular meetings and discussions have helped to overcome any misunderstandings between the teams.
– Regular meetings with data collectors and FCMs help to minimise the contamination of data in the intervention and control areas.
– In the North male participants did not appear to mind being interviewed by female data collectors. However, in the South, male participants preferred male data collectors. This might help us to decide on the best approach towards male participants in the South.
– A few FCMs thought that an eligible woman’s mother would qualify as a decision maker. It was clarified with the FCMs that the husband’s mother, that is an eligible woman’s mother-in-law, would be the appropriate decision maker.
Coming events: Piloting the HPV Self-Swab collection in Gaibandha
Knowledge exchange helps a lot! That is why the Bangladeshi team invited the participants from the north to visit the South. They shared the lessons learned during the survey in the North which took place during the UMCG’s visit to the northern part of Bangladesh.
In June, the team will travel to EFH North to start piloting the HPV self-swab collection in Gaibandha. The visits and training expand the knowledge, skills, and competence of the FRIENDSHIP NGO teams, the PRESCRIP-TEC project partner in Bangladesh.
Every field visit is a long journey, but they are essential to the success of the project. Visiting the field every month has helped to identify potential problem areas and then take the steps needed to prevent them in future activities.
Photos of the activities of the journey
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