Arba Minch University’s Collaborative Research Training Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease’s (CTRC-NTD) researcher, Mr Mekuria Asnakew, successfully won research grant from African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARN-NTD) of Ghana to conduct yearlong study in assessing equitable access to preventive chemotherapy in South Omo Zone.

This programmatic project has two components, initially it will generate evidences, wherein barriers and facilitators for equitable delivery of preventive chemotherapy (PCT) will be identified and possible solutions will be recommended in removing impediment and improving PCT program, he stressed.

Mekuria’s project, ‘Barriers, facilitators and solution for equitable access to preventive chemotherapy (PCT) in South Omo’ is aimed at identifying barriers and facilitators of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) at South Omo; since, MDA found to be non-existent here, the objective will be to find out causative factors.  

Methodology such as mixed quantitative, qualitative approach, focused group discussion and in-depth interview will be used. The study population will be selected individuals from community of South Omo zone and key informant from health system.

For quantitative part WHO-cluster sampling technique will be used to include a total of 1,350 households and for qualitative study, three Focus Group discussions in each district and 15 in-depth interviews are expected to be included from regional and national-level; data will be collected by mixed quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.

The researcher further adds, project findings and corresponding recommendations will be communicated to the Ministry of Health and findings will be published in different research journals and presented in different forums so that another region won’t have such lapses in administering MDA, he quipped.  

Mekuria had his BSc (Medical Laboratory Science) from Haramaya University in 2008 followed by MSc (General Public Health) in 2014 from Jimma University. He began his first job as medical laboratory technologist at Gimbichu Health Centre at Hadiya Zone and later joined Ethio International College on teaching assignment five years.

Thereafter, at Ethiopian Public Health Institute he worked as supervisor and regional coordinator. His BSc and MSc theses focused on Intestinal Parasite and HIV/AIDS - malnutrition at Hosaana town respectively. Having joined CRTC-NTD on November 2017, he had been conducting myriad researches i.e. improving control strategy of Soil Transmitted Helminthes among pre-school children in Gamo Gofa Zone, etc.  

(Corporate Communication Directorate)