They PERIMILK study team embarked on a visit to the control and intervention sites to initiate the data collection and pilot intervention phase in November-December, 2016. In Guwahati, they were facilitated by the College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agriculture University, one of the site partners for the study. Different teams comprising of the site principal investigator (PI), co-PI, research assistants, field staff and RCZI covered the villages, which included Parakuchi, Mawasami 11 mile, Hatimara, Patarkuchi, Ghanshyam Basti, Baridua, Khanpara, Mausmai and Nepali Basti. Some of the adjacent non-control and non-intervention villages were also visited.
The objective of the visit was to monitor data collection including quality assurance, provide supportive supervision to field staff engaged in the data collection and assess feasibility of interventions.
Meticulous attention was paid to recording the different steps in sample collection, such as team arriving on time, carrying milk collection log sheets, pre-labelling and coding milk vials, having sufficient ice packs for storing vials, taking temperature reading at the time of storage, ensuring samples were taken with a syringe and wearing gloves at the time of sample collection. This was followed by sharing, discussion and providing feedback.
The study team also assessed the demand, acceptability and practicality of interventions proposed. The farmers actively participated in the discussions. Feedback and insights from these farmers’ interaction is being suitably incorporated in the final set of interventions.
The next cycle of data collection will commence by end January.