Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Bangladesh: IEDCR Started Piloting


 IEDCR started implementing Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Bangladesh, on a pilot basis to collect information on health conditions and risk behaviors contributing to Non-communicable Disease (NCD), injuries and preventable communicable diseases. This is a computerized mobile phone based surveillance system, starting from February 2012 for a period of 4 months. For this project CDC Atlanta, USA is providing technical assistance; and financial assistance is received from International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).

As a part of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Banglalink supported IEDCR with 20,000 randomly selected individual phone numbers of their subscribers of Dhaka city which are currently in use. Advertisement has been published by IEDCR and Banglalink in daily newspapers to inform Banglalink subscribers about the survey and requesting them to participate. The database and software development has been contracted out to an organization, which is also supporting IEDCR with deploying interviewers, providing day to day operational and maintenance support.

To conduct telephone survey a protocol and questionnaire has been developed with the technical assistance of a consultant from CDC
Atlanta, USA. The questionnaire has been finalized after thorough field testing. Ten interviewers were trained through a 5-day workshop out of them 6 were recruited to conduct the telephone interview. The interview is being conducted every day, 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm in 2 shifts, except Friday when the morning shift is from 9 am to 12 Noon and afternoon shift remaining the same, 2 pm to 8 pm. Two interviewers work in each shift. The respondents are persons living in households, who have a working mobile telephone number, live in Dhaka city for 1 year or more and age is 18 years or above. Five to 7 minutes is required to complete an interview and the project is targeted to reach 3000 completed interview.

Though this telephone survey is being conducted for the first time in Bangladesh, many developed countries like USA, Australia, Scotland, China are conducting telephone survey routinely as it emerged as a low cost as well as reliable and affordable way to determine rapidly the prevalence of risk behavior in the population. IEDCR, with the experience of this pilot project is planning to scale up a nationwide computerized telephone Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance in Bangladesh. The findings will help the policy makers to improve Public Health System in Bangladesh.

Uploaded on May 2012