Funding for this research was provided by:
Received: 19 April 2021
Accepted: 15 October 2021
First Online: 29 October 2021
: The study was conducted after the approval of the study protocol, including the participant information sheet and consent, by the Department of Medical Laboratory Science Research and Ethical Review Committee (DRERC), College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University (no reference/permit numbers was stated in the letter). Given participants’ presence in the clinic was for their routine check-up and the data collection was part of the routine procedure, the committee decided to approve the informed verbal consent, which was mainly facilitated by the experienced nurses and laboratory technicians who were working on the days of recruitment. After ethics approval, permissions were obtained from the Tigray health bureau and the authorities of the hospital. The aim of the study was explained to the study participants and parents/legal guardians; confidentiality and privacy were ensured; and informed verbal consent was obtained prior to data collection. Given the study participants were under the age of 18 years, informed consent was obtained from parents/legal guardians. The consent forms were stored and handled in locked filing cabinets in a locked office as per the hospital’s recommended data storage guideline. All the methods were carried out in accordance with the standard operating procedure of the clinic and WHO guidelines.
: Not applicable.
: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.