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Methods for sampling geographically mobile female traders in an East African market setting.

  • Author(s): Leidich, Aimee;
  • Achiro, Lillian;
  • Kwena, Zachary A;
  • McFarland, Willi;
  • Neilands, Torsten B;
  • Cohen, Craig R;
  • Bukusi, Elizabeth A;
  • Camlin, Carol S
  • Editor(s): Puebla, Iratxe
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:The role of migration in the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is well-documented. Yet migration and HIV research have often focused on HIV risks to male migrants and their partners, or migrants overall, often failing to measure the risks to women via their direct involvement in migration. Inconsistent measures of mobility, gender biases in those measures, and limited data sources for sex-specific population-based estimates of mobility have contributed to a paucity of research on the HIV prevention and care needs of migrant and highly mobile women. This study addresses an urgent need for novel methods for developing probability-based, systematic samples of highly mobile women, focusing on a population of female traders operating out of one of the largest open air markets in East Africa. Our method involves three stages: 1.) identification and mapping of all market stall locations using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates; 2.) using female market vendor stall GPS coordinates to build the sampling frame using replicates; and 3.) using maps and GPS data for recruitment of study participants. RESULTS:The location of 6,390 vendor stalls were mapped using GPS. Of these, 4,064 stalls occupied by women (63.6%) were used to draw four replicates of 128 stalls each, and a fifth replicate of 15 pre-selected random alternates for a total of 527 stalls assigned to one of five replicates. Staff visited 323 stalls from the first three replicates and from these successfully recruited 306 female vendors into the study for a participation rate of 94.7%. Mobilization strategies and involving traders association representatives in participant recruitment were critical to the study's success. CONCLUSION:The study's high participation rate suggests that this geospatial sampling method holds promise for development of probability-based samples in other settings that serve as transport hubs for highly mobile populations.

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