One of our earliest events was “groundtruthing”/ Streetscaping. This was done by final year medical (MBBS) students at the University of Guyana, as part of their Community Field Assignment 3 course, taught by Dr Reeta Gobin.

In order to identify the sample for the study, it was necessary to match places of worship (PoWs) to specific primary health care centres (PHCs). However, there was no complete list or map of all PoWs (temples, mosques, churches) in the two regions selected for the study. Consequently, the students had to travel to the regions and physically map the PoWs to the PHCs. This required a great deal of walking through rural villages to identify the PoWs, and interviewing religious leaders or community members to obtain information that could be used to determine if the PoWs met inclusion criteria.


In some rural areas, motor vehicles and public transportation are scarce, so the students either had to walk great distances, or as in the above, hitch a ride on a horse cart. In the photo to the left, the students are on a horse cart heading towards the ferry on an island called Leguan. In the second photo, they are using umbrellas for protection from the sun – this is very common in Guyana, where the average daytime temperature during the dry season can be 33 deg. Celsius.



When Prof. Harding visited Guyana in August 2016, she was able to meet the medical students working on the groundtruthing exercise. This is one of the University of Guyana School of Medicine Clinical Sciences classrooms. Prof. Harding is standing at the front of the classroom (photo taken from the back). The students were from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, which (fortuitously) reflects the ethos of the project.


Qualitative Research Methodologies

CONTACT staff, along with Representatives of Health Agencies and the Faculty of Health Sciences, received training in the skills required for process evaluation and qualitative research.

Training of Research Assistants and Representatives of Health Agencies and the Faculty of Health Sciences in Qualitative Research Methods. Georgetown, Guyana. February 2017.


Facilitators and Participants in the CONTACT Study Qualitative Research Methods Training Workshop. Georgetown, Guyana. February 2017


Baseline Surveys

Baseline surveys have been conducted at the intervention sites, those congregations where trained health advocates will be placed during the course of the study. Surveys will also be conducted at the control sites. These surveys provide information on congregant NCD-related behaviours before the start of the intervention. End-line surveys will be conducted at the end of the intervention period to determine the impact of the health advocates.

An introduction to CONTACT and purpose of the baseline being given in a mandir to congregants who have come to participate in the surveys. March, 2018


Baseline surveys being conducted by Survey Interviewers and supervised by Research Assistants. Members of the Guyana Diabetes Care Project were also present at these surveys to conduct testing for their own research purposes. March, 2018


Health Advocate Selection and Training Process

Before health advocates were selected, they were interviewed and tested on language and mathematical skills to ensure they meet the requirements needed to fill the position. After being selected, HAs were trained in anthropometric measurements, blood pressure testing, diabetic foot screening and educated on healthy lifestyle and various NCDs including obesity and overweight, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

HA candidates being informed about the position and its requirements by Dr Reeta Gobin, Co-PI, Guyana. November, 2017


Candidates being tested prior to selection. November, 2017


Candidate being interviewed prior to selection by Dr Reeta Gobin, CO-PI Guyana, and Dr Sharlene Goberdhan, Research Assistant. November, 2017


Head Table, Health Advocate Training Workshop Launch, Georgetown, Guyana. February 2018.
L to R: Prof. Seeromanie Harding, Principal Investigator, KCL; Hon. Dr Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health; Hon. Ms Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health; Dr William Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO Country Representative; Prof. Michael Scott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Engagement, UG


The health advocates, Community Health Workers and CONTACT staff at the Launch of the Health Advocate Training Workshop. February 2018


Members of CONTACT Team; Health Advocates; Community Health Workers. Health Advocate Training Workshop, Georgetown,  Guyana. February 2018.


Health Advocate Award Ceremony, The Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana. 28thApril 2018.
Seated, L to R: Dr Reeta Gobin, Co-PI, Guyana; Prof. Michael Scott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Engagement, UG; Hon. Dr Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health; Mr Dennis Jaikarran, Regional Executive Officer, Region 3, Guyana; Dr William Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Guyana; Ms Malkia Idal, Finance Officer, Ministry of Public Health; Dr Olly Perreira, Research Assistant, CONTACT Study.

Standing: CONTACT Study Research Staff and Health Advocates