Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) has increasingly been used to improve the diagnosis of disease and identification of the cause of death, particularly in underserved areas. However, there are multiple barriers to accessing those who die within the community, our study aimed to explore the perceptions and insights of community members and healthcare providers regarding the feasibility of implementing MITS in community settings.
Methods: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted. A total of twenty one in-depth interviews were conducted with deceased infants' parents, elders of the family, religious leaders, community leaders, and funeral workers. Focus group discussions were conducted with health care providers (n = 14) in two peri-urban slum areas of Karachi, Pakistan. The duration of this study was from August to October 2020. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis and was coded and merged into categories forming eight major themes.
Results: In general, participants viewed minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) as beneficial for improving child health, though some had concerns about disrespecting the deceased during sample collection. Misinformation, fear of needles, and medical procedures were major barriers to MITS implementation. To enhance acceptance, community and religious leaders suggested using religious rulings, obtaining parental consent, ensuring confidentiality, and increasing efforts of community engagement. Community healthcare providers, along with funeral workers, recommended providing community members with grief counseling to increase study participation. Besides concerns about sampling interfering with respect for the decease, community members also raised concerns about misinformation. Further, participants provided feedback on the design and appearance of the mobile van used to collect MITS samples from children under the age of five.
Conclusion: This study is critical for understanding the challenges associated with implementation of community-based MITS sampling in Pakistan. Integrating the use of a mobile van for sample collection, grief counseling along with community engagement sessions and advocacy will help address community-based misinformation and develop community trust.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Health Services Research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.