RAPCO: Baseline completed !

3400 Pregnant mothers
Five field teams
3 months
22 MOH areas
221 Clinics

Involving a larger community of stakeholders

RAPCO is a collaborative initiative with large number of stakeholders. Project development was done with inputs from the Provincial Health Department, provincial health administrators, consultants, MOH, MOMCH, specialists from teaching hospital anuradhapura, academics from different departments of different faculties and most importantly pregnant mothers.

Preparation for cohort work

Preparation involved six months of planing before the field work. The actual planning of the cohort was done over two years with field staff. Extended hours of five field teams, one office team and one laboratory team involved in the planing process. Large number of meetings, training of data collectors, tool development workshops and field, laboratory and desk work involved in preparation.

Field testing and piloting

All instrument used for data collection were pretested among pregnant women who were not eligible for participation in the cohort. A team of researchers pretested equipment for clarity, understandability and to estimate the time taken for the interviews. In addition, all questions were tested for cognitive validation.

A pilot test was conducted to test the full procedure including laboratory testing. A well planned procedure layout was required to cope up with the extensive workload involving sample collection, data collection, clinical examination, counseling services, referrals and also managing minor ailments and incidents.

RAPCO field clinics

Four teams of researchers involving doctors, nurses and medical students with the help of MOH, PHNS and PHM conducted 221 field clinic during the three months baseline survey. The clinics were done in 22 MOH area and a special clinic in the FMAS premises. Information on present and past pregnancies, medical issues, mental health, nutrition and many other aspects were assessed. All routine investigations recommended in the national pregnancy care programme was offered free of charge for all RAPCO participants. A specially designed pregnancy health promotion booklet was also distributed.

Big team effort with 100% target coverage

By 15th October, RAPCO team has successfully completed the baseline assessment of 3400 pregnant women. The targets were achieved exactly as planned and the team is in the process of data cleaning and linking. Hospital based data collection has already started to capture all minor ailment in pregnancies and hospital admissions. Two different teams are involved in hospital data collection. A volunteer team of students who are interested in research and another team of data collectors visiting all hospitals.

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Department of Community Medicine