Perceptions of Neglected Tropical Diseases in three districts of Nampula province

This report presents the results of Rapid Qualitative Screening of Local Perceptions of Neglected Tropical Diseases in three districts of Nampula province, namely: Mogovolas (Nametil), Murrupula (Chinga), and Eráti (Namapa and Alua). Data collection in the field took place between 23 and 28 March 2014 and sought to look at the etiology of the disease (signs and forms of manifestation), the social representation of the disease (experience, possible stigma associated with forms advanced) and lifestyles of the target population of project implementation districts in Nampula province.

Qualitative approach is the methodological option adopted. The auscultation privileged the collection of data that allowed to understand the perceptions, the meanings and the local interpretations on DTNs.

In terms of findings, the study found:

  1. Existence of different knowledge and perceptions about symptoms and signs among the communities covered. The diversity of knowledge gathered among different members of the community is informed by life experiences with the disease, poor access to biomedical information on the disease, magical-religious beliefs and some stereotypes that lead to a permissive context of certain practices and attitudes that perpetuate practices. As an example, common in all districts covered by the research is to associate the illustrations of a child with a watery stomach, urine with blood to diseases related to sexuality.
  2. Participants were unanimous in considering that illustrated risk practices, namely: open fecalism; standing water bath; urinating on the banks of lakes, ponds, and washing their legs in ponds and lakes are common in their communities and are aware of the risks associated with the health of the individual and the community.
  3. Low knowledge on the transmission of bilharzia between the communities covered by the study. For, no, it was possible to perceive a direct association between the risk behaviors illustrated through billboards of the research with bilharziosis. However, the interpretations surrounding the Posters show a general awareness of the implications for the health of individuals and communities resulting from non-compliance with basic hygiene recommendations.

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