Monitoring the quality of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) is a key tool for polio eradication. Regular monitoring data, however, are often unreliable, showing high coverage levels in virtually all areas, including those with ongoing virus circulation. To address this challenge, lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) was introduced in 2009 as an additional tool to monitor SIA quality. Now used in 8 countries, LQAS provides a number of programmatic benefits. LQAS also accommodates changes to survey format, interpretation thresholds, evaluations of sample size, and data collection through mobile phones to improve timeliness of reporting and allow for visualization of campaign quality.
Magpi has been an essential part of implementing LQAS efficiently, with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, as well as UNICEF, using Magpi for this purpose in numerous countries for more than five years (since the software was called “EpiSurveyor”). Importantly, WHO has been able to set up and configure Magpi themselves, with no need for expensive outside consultants or programmers – leaving more money for polio eradication core activities.
And the benefits were substantial:
“In March 2012, WHO conducted a technical training and field test of Magpi for 7 staff in Abuja, Nigeria. Results showed that data transmission took place in real-time; data export from the server to the local computer was immediate; data collation was rapid (transfer from Magpi export format to final LQAS analysis format required under three minutes per cluster); and data errors were minimal due to built-in skip logic and value constraints. [And] the transmission cost of 0.7 USD per lot was negligible compared to the gains in timeliness.” – WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Increased speed, reduced errors, and negligible cost. Those are findings that every program could benefit from!
Read more about polio eradication and the use of Magpi/EpiSurveyor here and in the WHO team’s publication, below.