Establishing a community-based support system to improve the health and wellbeing of people affected by stigmatising neglected tropical diseases affecting the skin in Kaduna and Kwara State, Nigeria

Study Sites: Kwara and Kaduna

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect around one billion people, many living in the poorest parts of the world. NTDs often lead to serious long-term physical impairments which affect people’s health and wellbeing. Restrictions to livelihood activities, and social interactions resulting from associated stigma and reduction in participation can have disabling impacts.

The holistic health and psycho-social needs of persons affected by NTDs is often overlooked in integrated NTD programme design and research. Our study aims to partner with affected persons, community health workers (CHWs) and programme implementers to address this gap, through the co-design and implementation of community-based interventions such as support groups, which focus on facilitating improvements to both physical and psycho-social wellbeing.

This study uses a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to design the intervention in collaboration with people affected by stigmatising NTDs. Using the creative participatory method of photovoice, we seek to understand the experiences of the health and wellbeing of people affected by stigmatising NTDs, their caregivers, and CHWs. This will be used to inform the co-development of community-based support groups, which will be evaluated during and after implementation.