Using intervention mapping to design and implement quality improvement strategies towards elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Northern Ghana

by Alfred Kwesi Manyeh, Latifat Ibisomi, Frank Baiden, Tobias Chirwa, Rohit Ramaswamy

Introduction

The Global Strategy to Eliminate Lymphatic Filiariasis (GFELF) through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) has been implemented in Ghana since the year 2000 and transmission has been interrupted in 76 of 98 endemic districts. To improve the MDA in the remaining districts with microfilaria (MF) prevalence above the 1% threshold for the interruption of transmission, there is a need to identify and implement appropriate quality improvement (QI) strategies. This paper describes the use of intervention mapping to select QI strategies to improve an existing evidence-based MDA program in Northern Ghana.

Methods

Due to the complexities associated with implementing evidence-based programs (EBP) such as the lymphatic filariasis MDA and variability in the context, an initial assessment to identify implementation bottlenecks associated with the quality of implementation of lymphatic filariasis MDA in the Bole District of Ghana was conducted using a mixed methods approach. Based on the findings of the initial assessment, a context specific QI strategy was designed and operationalized using intervention mapping strategy in terms of seven domains: actor, the action, action targets, temporality, dose, implementation outcomes addressed, and theoretical justification.

Results

The initial needs assessment shows that the persistent transmission of lymphatic filariasis in the Bole District is characterized by high levels of refusal to ingest the drug, high levels of reported adverse drug reactions, low MDA coverage at community level, poor adherence to the MDA protocol and non-participants’ responsiveness.

Conclusion

This study has shown that it is feasible to develop a context specific QI strategy for an existing evidence-based intervention based on an initial needs assessment through stakeholder participation using the IM approach. However, working (towards) QI requires more time than is usually available in public health service. Sufficient theoretical knowledge of implementation research and experience with technical IM experts must be available.

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