In response to a question asked during yesterday’s (February 4, 2021) COVID-19 update press conference, the incompleteness of the answer provided could have led to some misunderstanding of the information being sought by the students who are collecting data.
While it is true that the interviewers, when they visit a home, are not asking for the name of the person being interviewed, one of the questions on the form does specifically ask: “What is the name of the head of your household?”
This name is then automatically associated with geo-tagging of the property, which essentially allows authorities to locate it on a satellite map.
Coordinator of the exercise, University of the West Indies department head, Dr. Dion Greenidge, explained that these two factors — the specific identification of the head of the household and the satellite mapping of the home — along with other household data such as a telephone number and email address, would assist Government in accurately and efficiently directing any public health intervention that may be necessary, arising out of the survey.
This information is important because when the answers from the household symptom checklist are assessed, health officials may determine there is a need for a follow-up visit by trained medical personnel.
Additionally, the information collected will help other health and/or environmental personnel who may need to respond to assist with the elimination of conditions that may be promoting the spread of dengue fever.
However, interviewees reserve the right not to answer any specific question or not to participate at all.
Dr. Greenidge has reiterated that all information collected is being treated in the strictest confidence and thanked Barbadians for the high level of cooperation they have offered the students since the operations started on Wednesday.