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REASONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE LATE NOTIFICATION OF ACUTE FLACCID PARALYSIS (AFP) CASES IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN LUANDA

Friday, 19th of December 2014 Print

Macama A1, Okeibunor J2, Grando S1, Djibaoui K1, Yameogo RK1, Morais A3, Gasasira AN2, Mbaye S2, Mihigo R2, Nshimirimana D2.

  • 1World Health Organization, Angola.
  • 2World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.
  • 3Ministry of Health, Angola.

Pan Afr Med J. 2014 Jul 23;18:239. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2014.18.239.3770. eCollection 2014.

Abstract below ; full text is at http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/18/239/full/

INTRODUCTION:

As the polio eradication effort enters the end game stage, surveillance for Acute Flaccid Paralysis in children becomes a pivotal tool. Thus given the gaps in AFP surveillance as identified in the cases of late notification, this study was designed to explore the reasons and circumstances responsible for late notification of AFP and collection of inadequate stools (more than 14 days of onset of paralysis until collection of the 2nd stool specimen) of AFP cases in health facilities equipped to manage AFP cases.

METHODS:

Eleven AFP cases with inadequate stools were reported from January 2 to July 8, 2012 - Epidemiological Weeks 1-27. The families of these cases were interviewed with an in-depth interview guide. The staff of the seven health units, where they later reported, was also enlisted for the study which used in-depth interview guide in eliciting information from them.

RESULTS:

Ignorance and wrong perception of the etiology of the cases as well as dissatisfaction with the health units as the major reasons for late reporting of AFP cases. The first port of call is usually alternative health care system such as traditional healers and spiritualists because the people hold the belief that the problem is spiritually induced. The few, who make it to health units, are faced with ill equipped rural health workers who wait for the arrival of more qualified staff, who may take days to do so.

CONCLUSION:

An understanding of the health seeking behavior of the population is germane to effective AFP surveillance. There is thus a need to tailor AFP surveillance to the health seeking behavior of the populations and expand it to community structures.

 

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