RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
AFENET’s research agenda is aligned to global, regional and country specific public health priorities. AFENET Nigeria as a public health institution in collaboration with other implementing partners and academic institutions, supports the Federal and State Ministries of Health (FMoH & SMoH), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nigeria Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) in the planning, design and conduct of operational research across various disease programs aimed at providing evidence for programmatic improvement and policy formulation. The organization over the years through the provision of technical and financial support has contributed immensely to strengthening public health systems. The institution’s areas of contribution include:
Developing and implementation of operational research
AFENET Nigeria through her programs (NFELTP, NSTOP, HIV, Reproductive and Maternal Health, Non-communicable disease, Malaria etc) has been able to support the country’s health sector in the the development and implementation of operational research for programmatic improvement. Highlights of operational researches conducted are as follows:
Routine immunization (RI):
The National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP) program has supported routine immunization which is one of the pillars of the polio eradication initiative (PEI) in developing and implementing projects to strengthen RI in Nigeria. The projects include amongst others the demand generation project which was implemented to drive demand for RI and elicit demand generation strategies that work better at the community level.
The international border vaccination project was implemented to support health facilities across local government areas sharing international borders to provide outreach services to underserved and hard to reach communities and improve RI coverage and build immunity against poliomyelitis to prevent importation of wild polio virus into Nigeria.
The Hepatitis B birth dose uptake project is one of the projects the program is at the verge of implementing to improve maternal tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) uptake and help Nigeria achieve and sustain MNT elimination.
The mini expanded programme for Immunization (EPI) review is one of the projects that the programme implemented to identify gaps in the RI program in selected lowest performing states in each of the geopolitical zones and guide the country on responding to the most problematic areas of service delivery with particular consideration to second year of life (2YL) vaccination issue ahead of the planned MCV2 introduction. The review also sought to identify lessons learned and share best practices from national and sub-national levels for improvement of RI performance.
AFENET supported the development of the 2018-2022 National Research Agenda on HIV and AIDS in Nigeria which is guiding efforts for an evidence based national response. AFENET Nigeria provides technical support to the National AIDS Control Programme (NASCP), National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) and State Ministries of Health in the design and implementation of operational research in the HIV programme and other related infectious diseases. With support from US CDC, the organization has led operational research in the following priority areas:
- Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission (PMCT): Conducted a PMTCT cascade evaluation in 2016/2017. This was a retrospective cohort study of mother-infant pairs who received PMTCT interventions sampled from sites across 12 high prevalence states across the six geopolitical zones. The study identified gaps across the PMTCT cascade of care and provided evidence for more effective program planning.
- HIV Data Quality Assessment: This was conducted across 19 states, focusing on assessing 10 core PEPFAR. The assessment covered 6,000 health facilities and with responsive feedback of findings to the facilities and partners for remedial action.