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This question was posted the Assessment and Surveillance forum area and has 2 replies.

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Anonymous 40527

Health &Nutrition Program Manager

Normal user

12 Jan 2021, 09:41

Hi Colleagues,

I would like to conduct a SLEAC assessment in one of our service delivery units which in this case is a health centre & I would like to understand the following.

1.When coming up with a sample, it is appropriate to use the SAM and MAM prevalence for the County (has districts under it) because the SMART result are only for the county?

2. Do i need to use the villages that constitute the catchment of the health centre as the basic sampling unit  with their estimated population?

3. How do i get sample interval if i decide to use systematic sampling? is it total estimated population for all villages/ 40 cases?

Hugh Lort-Phillips

Senior Nutrition Assessment Advisor

Technical expert

12 Jan 2021, 11:39

Hello, Thanks for you question.

It is always best to plan your sampling based on the SAM prevalence (the rarer condition) and if possible based on the SAM prevalence by MUAC (assuming that case finding will be completed using MUAC and oedema).

Yes, the basic sampling unit should be the villages within the catchment area. If sampled villages have very large populations consider sending two or more teams to ensure exhaustive case finding in the sampled village.

The sampling interval is calculated by dividing the total number of villages with the number of villages which need to visited to achieve the required sample size. More information about how to calculate this here: 

If you have any other questions or need some resources please contact

Good luck! 

Hugh Lort-Phillips

Senior Nutrition Assessment Advisor

Technical expert

12 Jan 2021, 12:29

In follow up to my previous comment, if the SLEAC is only being completed in the catchment area of a single health facility, it is likely that the total number of SAM cases living with the catchment area will be lower than 500. 

If this is case, remember that the sample size can be reduced based on the expected total number of SAM cases. Guidance for reducing the sample size is included on he table included on page 118 of the SQUEAC / SLEAC technical reference available here: 

For example, if based on prevalence data, there are only estimated to be 50 SAM cases in the catchment area, the target sample size can be reduced to 22 (if using a three tier classification system). 

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