A total of 42 attendees who were NTD practitioners across the 16 LGA in Ekiti State participated in this study, 25(59.5%) were females and 17(40.5%) were males (Table S1) (Figure S1).
Level of compliance to WHO guidelines for public gathering during COVID-19 pandemic
The level of compliance to WHO recommended guidelines for public gathering during COVID-19 pandemic was assessed during the operational phase of the meeting. As regards the venue of the meeting, the compliance level was 50%. The meeting was held indoor and was completely a physical meeting. Also, there were no regular and thorough cleaning and disinfection of the venue by a designated staff during the period of the meeting. Two-third (66.67%) of the modifications required for the participants were met. This includes advising people to observe physical distancing and instructing those with a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 not to attend. The modifications required for the duration of the meeting was not met as the meeting took more than 5 hours (Table 1). Table 2 presents the changes in practices during the review meeting as compared to previous review meetings.
Participants’ satisfaction regarding coordination and adherence to best practices for the prevention of COVID-19 during the review meeting
About 98% participants’ satisfaction were attributed to the fact that the invitation offered them opportunity for capacity building in NTDs programming (Table 3).
“...it will build my capacity for NTD programming”- (Participant, Irepodun/ifelodun)
“to update my knowledge about NTD and plan for 2020”- (Participant, Ekiti East)
Also, there were satisfactions ascribed to timely notification of the meeting through newly created online platforms such as Whatsapp and email.
“the notification for the meeting came earlier because of the prior information”- (Participant, Ijero)
“modern way of invitation in that a Whatsapp platform was created for participants” – (Participant, Ado)
Similarly, about 65% of the attendees agreed that the review meeting is different from that of the previous year as it combined both review of the previous years' MAM and the planning for the year’s MAM (Table 3). Other comparisons were in terms of a more conducive environment, abiding with all COVID-19 regulations and early notification about the meeting which allowed the participants to have adequate time to prepare.
“last year was only a review meeting of 2018 but this year was both a review meeting and plan for 2020 Workplan”-(Participant, Irepodun/ifelodun)
“We have a very conducive environment”-(Participant, IdoOsi)
“notification came earlier and there was adequate preparation for it”- (Participant, Ijero)
On the other hand, majority of the attendees (92.5%) expressed their level of satisfaction about the mode of admission and coordination during the review meeting (Table 3). These satisfactions were attributed to spacious and well-ventilated venue, in addition to the COVID-19 precautionary measures put in place by the organizers (Table 3)
“…before you enter into the venue, you should wash your hand with water and soap, sanitizer your hand too”- (Participant, Ado)
“I saw the MITOSATH people fumigating their materials before the commencement of the meeting- (Participant, Ekiti East)
“…the venue…it allows members to space themselves, the use of face mask was done and provision of sanitizer”- (Participant, Gboyin)
Usage of face mask was on top of the priority list of best practices during the meeting, with 85% of the participant adhering to it, this was followed by maintaining physical distancing (72.5%), hand hygiene measures including washing and sanitizing (67.5%) and respiratory etiquette (52.5%) (Table S2). In addition, majority of the participant felt there were no challenges that could expose them to COVID-19 during the period of the review meeting. One of the major reason was the fact that the venue for the meeting was spacious and rules guiding the organization of meetings during COVID-19 pandemic was adhered to (Table S2).
“The place is well okay for everyone and COVID-19 rule was strongly observed” (Participant, Ido-osi)
“COVID-19 rules were followed if not attendees health would have been in danger” (Participant, Ikere)
“No challenge so far as the hall used for the programme is big enough for spacing”- (Participant, Irepodun/Ifelodun)