In some societies, blood drawing, vaccinations, and supplementation, are surrounded by myths and beliefs. If not clarified, they may affect study implementation and negatively impact well-intended studies. Against this background, the implementation team of the \"2012 Zambian Orange Maize Study\" undertook community mobilization activities to dispel myths, including meetings, drama performances, critical collaborations with local government, and continuous monitoring. The primary aim, assessment of vitamin A status of Zambian children in response to feeding orange maize, was communicated to all stakeholders. This study followed a similar study conducted in the same communities in 2010 and the differences and current study design were discussed. Other activities included renovation of intervention sites, sharing of previous results, staff recruitment, equipment inventory, and phase-out strategy development. Signing a memorandum of understanding between the stakeholders was critical. Blood drawing, remuneration, and menu items were a source of complaints by parents and slight adjustments were made to the menu based on parental feedback. In conclusion, with all the challenges encountered, the study was successfully implemented according to schedule. Subject participation was good, with few losses to follow-up. Analysis of the quantitative data is on-going.
Kaliwile, C.; Arscott, S.A.; Masi, C.; Tanumihardjo, S.A. Community mobilization activities for the Zambia 2012 Orange Maize Efficacy Trial. FASEB Journal (2013) 27 (Meeting Abstract Supplement) 638.24.