Each household supplied a sample (5 mg) of the table salt they were consuming at that time. The salt was then qualitatively tested for the amount of iodine. This was done by using a few drops of Ioditest®. The darker the color the salt turned, the more iodine it contained. The results were recorded along with the brand name of the salt. Mothers were also informed if their salt had a high enough iodine content (>30 ppm), if it did not they were counseled to either use a different brand of salt (one that is known to be fortified with iodine, or keep their salt in a closed container, because leaving salt open to the elements will decrease the iodine concentration. The sample of salt was then coded by cluster and household, and packed away for later quantitative analysis at Centro Control de Enfermedades Transmisibles (CCET) in Morales.
The complete training period took place over a 10 day period. The staff (HOPE and MINSA) received training on survey methodology, KPC surveys, discussion and practice exercises on the sampling methodology , selection of first and consecutive households, laboratory procedures, survey questions pertaining to the new ARI and malaria sections, and appropriate interviewing techniques. The training was conducted by the National Director, Sandra Contreras RN, and other HOPE staff. A written guide was also supplied to the field team.
The actual survey was conducted over 19 days: July 1-19. (See Appendix for time tables for each team). Three teams of interviewers (each included a licensed nurse for the blood extraction) were randomly assigned to the three REDES-Lamas, El Dorado, or San Martín by project staff.
Supervisors of each team were responsible for the selection of the initial household and the geographical location in which each person would proceed in order to collect their number of surveys. Each questionnaire was checked for completeness before the survey team left the survey area so that, in the case of missing or contradictory information, the mother and/or adult could be re-interviewed the same day. In addition, all questionnaires were checked again for completeness and accuracy at the end of each day by the supervisor.
The data was entered in EPI INFO in the Project HOPE office at the DIRES-SM, Tarapoto. One administrative assistant and intern entered the data in nine days. A 6th year medical student from UPCH who was trained in EPI INFO and who has extensive knowledge in data analysis conducted the initial analysis. Due to time constraints of the student he conducted the more advanced analyses at UPCH using SPSS-X.
The exact age of the child was calculated subtracting the date of birth from the date of the interview. Anthropometric indexes, WAZ (Z-score for weight-for-age), HAZ