Schistosomiasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases that affects over 200 million people worldwide, of which 29 million people in Nigeria. The principal strategy for schistosomiasis in Nigeria is a control and elimination program which comprises a school-based Mass Drug Administration (MDA) with limitations of high re-infection rates and the exclusion of high-risk populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends guided case management of schistosomiasis (diagnostic tests or symptom-based detection plus treatment) at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level to ensure more comprehensive morbidity control. However, these require experienced personnel with sufficient knowledge of symptoms and functioning laboratory equipment. Little is known about where, by whom and how diagnosis is performed at health facilities within the case management of schistosomiasis in Nigeria. Furthermore, there is a paucity of information on patients’ health-seeking behaviour from the onset of disease symptoms until a cure is obtained. In this study, we describe both perspectives in Oyo state, Nigeria and address the barriers using adapted health-seeking stages and access framework. The opportunities for improving case management were identified, such as a prevalence study of high-risk groups, community education and screening, enhancing diagnostic capacity at the PHC through point-of-care diagnostics and strengthening the capability of health workers.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited