About Contact Study Guyana

The CONTACT (Congregations Taking Action Against NCDs) Study is a collaborative research effort among universities and Ministries of Health in Guyana, the UK and the Caribbean, as well as international agencies like CARPHA and PAHO. It aims to investigate the feasibility of integrating places of worship into the primary care pathway for the prevention and control of NCDs in low-resource settings. This will be achieved by assessing the feasibility and impact of training lay members of congregations to serve as health advocates (HAs) within their places of worship.

HAs will promote behaviour change, perform simple tests (blood pressure, weight and height measurements), provide support for persons with existing conditions, e.g. by monitoring medication adherence, and refer congregants to linked primary health centres for further evaluation where necessary.

Data collection will include quantitative baseline surveys of NCD-related characteristics and determinants in 900 participants from 9 intervention and 9 control sites in Guyana, qualitative interviews and focus groups, ethnographic observation, and extraction of data from clinic records. Smaller scale studies are being done in Jamaica and Dominica.

Agencies involved include King’s College London, University of Guyana, Ross University, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, Ministry of Public Health Guyana and the Pan-American Health Organisation.