Challenges to paediatric tuberculosis care as perceived by health workers in Kano, North-western Nigeria

Submitted: December 14, 2020
Accepted: February 15, 2022
Published: June 30, 2022
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Tuberculosis (TB) remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease that affects a third of the world’s population and newly infected an estimated 10 million people in 2018. The number of TB infected Nigerians ranks sixth in the world and first in Africa. Kano State has the highest Nigerian TB prevalence. I aimed to identify Paediatric TB care challenges as perceived by Kano Medical and DOT health care providers. The study design was prospective, descriptive and cross sectional involving structured questionnaire interviews of 43 healthcare providers, during TB supervision visits of 10 Health facilities in Kano. Generated data was entered, validated and analysed using the STATA 13 statistical software package. The sample size was convenient, since it is the number of all the health providers working in the facilities assigned to the author for supervision under a supervision contract with KNCV in 2017. Of the 43 respondents, there were 26 males, with a M: F ratio of 1.5: 1. Those health workers aged from 30 and 40 years constituted 58% of respondents. The staff cadre of respondents comprised of Community Health Extension Workers [CHEW] (40%), doctors (30%) and nurses (3%). Up to 51% of respondents had over 10 years health worker experience and greater than 36 months Child TB DOT care provision. The most commonly identified challenges to paediatric TB care included poor health knowledge (97.7%), poor health seeking behaviour (95.4%), poverty (95.4%), the inability of children to cough up sputum 95.4%, late presentation (90.7%), contact tracing logistics (90.7 %), patient and community factors of stigma and discrimination (86%) and poor health worker paediatric TB knowledge (70%). Perceived health worker challenges to effective Paediatric TB care were the adult orientation of the TB programme and its contact tracing logistic challenges, inadequate health worker Paediatric TB knowledge, children’s inability to cough up sputum, poverty, poor patient TB health knowledge, community stigma and discrimination, poor health seeking behaviour and late presentation.

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