Developing an integrated community-based case detection and referral system for neglected tropical diseases affecting the skin: A pilot study in Kaduna and Ogun states, Nigeria

Many neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have significant skin manifestations, which can lead to chronic and lifelong disability, morbidity and stigma. Affected people often attend for treatment at health facilities at the latter stages of disease once symptoms become severe. Early case detection of skin NTDs is therefore important to minimise the negative health impacts that delays in diagnosis can cause.  This study aims to address current knowledge gaps regarding how best to detect and refer skin NTDs cases through the use of integrated approaches at community levels based on varying health worker capacities.

Study Sites: Ogun and Kaduna

We will utilize an action research approach where existing mechanisms for integrated management will be explored through literature reviews and participatory meetings with affected persons and frontline health workers in Ogun. These findings will then inform action planning meetings with community and health system stakeholders from Ogun and Kaduna to co-design an intervention for improving case detection, referral and treatment of skin NTDs which will be implemented and evaluated. Possible interventions will include newly designed training packages, integrated skin algorithms, and referral processes.

It is anticipated that the findings from this study will support the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Nigeria to deliver their operational plan for the Integrated Case Management of Neglected Tropical Diseases.