Integrating the detection and management of Female Genital Schistosomiasis into the health system in highly endemic areas for Schistosomiasis in Bong and Nimba County, Liberia

Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) in one of the most neglected gynaecological conditions that affect more than a third of women living in Schistosomiasis endemic areas. If left untreated, FGS could lead to miscarriages, infertility, and cancers. WHO Schistosomiasis Roadmap seeks to eliminate Schistosomiasis by 2030, however, interventions have been focused on school-aged children with little attention to out-of-school girls and women, despite exposures to infected waters and risk of FGS.

COUNTDOWN research, in collaboration with the national NTD programme and health system stakeholders identified FGS as one of NTD priority projects in Liberia. COUNTDOWN therefore set out to collaboratively develop and test an integrated package for diagnosis and management of FGS for use at primary healthcare, in highly endemic areas for Schistosomiasis in Liberia. This study will take place in two districts spread across Bong and Nimba counties selected for their high Schistosomiasis prevalence. Likewise, districts lie adjacent to adjacent to one of Liberia’s known foci for Schistosomiasis, the St. John river, and their population is highly dependent on primary healthcare. This participatory health research study uses intervention plans developed during participatory workshops with health system stakeholders to inform a series of quality improvement (QI) or Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to develop and test an algorithm for diagnosis and treatment of FGS. Qualitative research methods will be used to describe and analyse the study process and outcome. Research partners, including the University of Liberia – Pacific Institute for Research and the national NTD programme will provide a platform for research dissemination, uptake, and prioritization in Liberia.