Crown Agents are contracted by Emory University as the Fiscal Agent for the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) network in Sierra Leone while also providing management oversight. The CHAMPS network aims to determine and track the causes of under-five mortality and stillbirths through epidemiologic surveillance, including reporting within 24 hours, clinical sampling, and use of advanced laboratory testing and diagnostics across a network of international sites.
The Minimal Invasive Tissue Sampling (MITS) procedure used by CHAMPS was developed to reduce the uncertainty regarding causes of death in developing countries as it is less resource-intensive. It allows the extraction of tissue specimens and body fluids from a predefined set of organs without the need to open the body and is therefore more acceptable than complete diagnostic autopsies. The data collected from the CHAMPS sites will help reduce child deaths in LIMCs by providing detailed evidence on the cause of death to influence policy of funders and stakeholders.
Improving child healthcare delivery through in-depth research
Crown Agents performs three key functions for the CHAMPS network in Sierra Leone:
- Building a cohesive network through strong financial management.
We manage the financial flow through the CHAMPS Sierra Leone network, provide financial advice to partners and augment capacity where necessary.
- Managing partners and providing management oversight. We contract all implementing partners and manage the overall work plan for CHAMPS to ensure milestones are met.
- Providing effective procurement and operations management. We procured the lab equipment and reagents required for the programme. Additionally we are responsible for procuring the services of contractors to set up a dedicated CHAMPS office, as well as the repair and refurbishment for the Makeni and Connaught Hospital.
Our project management team is based in Makeni district, the heart of the CHAMPS programme. With access to our Freetown HQ and our wide network of project management specialists, we ensure our site-based team is well resourced to effectively execute the range of services required by Crown Agents for the successful implementation of CHAMPS.