Our malaria study measures the effect of four rounds of simultaneous indoor spraying and universal preventative treatment. We’re about to do round three. After this, there will be just one round left– we’ll be in the home stretch!
Right now, to get ready for round three, we’re re-counting people and homes. Our incredible researchers are accomplishing this re-count by going door-to-door in the rain! Please keep them in your prayers.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the process:
- First, we count how many people and homes exist in our study area.
- Then, during round three, we will count how many people get medicine and how many homes get sprayed.
- Last, we calculate the ratio between the two counts above, which is our rate of coverage. For example, in round one, we had 85% coverage with the medicine, and in round two, we had 75% coverage.
So far, we’ve had great rates of coverage for a study of this size and length. But we’re always looking to improve, because the better our coverage is, the more compelling (and statistically significant) the results will be. That’s why we’re always working to improve the way our team gathers and reports data. We need to be able to collect a huge amount of data from several hundred staff members all at once, and we need it to be very accurate.
When we send pictures of our malaria work, a lot of times we like to show you the little children who will benefit the most:
But the truth is that good public health work also looks like this:
This all happens, regardless of the weather. The incredible researchers often do this in the rain and mud. We thank God for every hardworking staffer who’s re-counting and crunching the numbers right now, because we know that those numbers will make our study more compelling to scientists and policymakers around the world. With your help, we’re going to change the landscape and make malaria control safer, cheaper, and more effective…
… but first, we have a lot of paperwork to do. Coffee, anyone?