RAMMPS To Evaluate Impact of Covid-19, Especially on Mortality.

Posted on Mar 31, 2022 at 17:54

The Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR) in conjunction with researchers from the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU), New York University-Abu Dhabi, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is conducting a twelve-months Rapid Mortality Mobile Phone Surveys-RAMMPS between December 2021 and December 2022.

According to the Field Manager for RAMMPS Funny Muthema, the study aims at gathering data in settings where mortality surveillance systems are weak or interrupted. Through this study, the researchers will be assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mortality in the five countries under study.

Muthema added that each month a team of enumerators from IPOR will call and interview 1700 randomly selected Malawians. Participants will be randomly selected men and women of ages between 18 and 64, whose telephone numbers have been randomly selected using the sampling services of Sample Solutions Blv of the Netherlands. All cellphone numbers in Malawi are eligible to be randomly selected and called through this study.

“Selected respondents will be asked to participate in a short interview which will take about 20 minutes. Participation in the study is voluntary and there is no penalty for refusing to take part. However, it is our belief that participating in the study will help us better understand how COVID-19 has affected the lives of Malawians, including experience of illness and deaths within households. We also understand that remembering and discussing illness and deaths amongst relatives may trigger feelings of sadness and emotional distress. If that happens, we will make provision for respondents to talk to a licensed counsellor at no cost”, added Muthema. 

IPOR’s ethical guidelines ensures that information that we will collect during the interviews may be shared with other researchers, but only after we delete name and telephone numbers so that nobody can link the information to any respondents.

“Information of respondents will be treated with utmost confidentiality. In addition, respondents will benefit indirectly as data helps in policy, programs and project interventions formulations. However, we will appreciate our respondents for their time in participating in the survey with a token of airtime”, says Muthema.

In addition to Malawi, this project is also being run in four other countries, namely: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique.