AVAILABILITY OF CHILDHOOD SOCIAL SERVICES IN LEPROSY SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA
AbstractBackground: Children of leprosy patients deserve social services such as free education, health care services including HIV/AIDS prevention like others. The extent to which these children benefit from
such services is not clear. One expects that since they are exposed to health hazards in settlements that they would benefit immensely from preventive health care and other services. Study investigates the
extent to which such services are available to them.
Methods: Study was carried out in 3 purposively selected leprosy settlements, Uzuakoli in Abia State, Ohaozara in Ebonyi State and Ogbomoso in Oyo State using 86 children from 10 years and above who
are available during study. Structured questionnaire and interview schedule were instruments used. Data were analyzed with Stat Pac Gold package.
Results: Provision of social services to children of leprosy patients studied is limited. Only 13(16.5%) of the children said their parents did not pay school fees. The rest paid. However, despite payment of fees,
higher proportion of children in Abia State 43(95.6%) more than in Oyo State 36(87.9%) went to school P = .03. About 42(97.7%) of children in Abia State and 30(83.3%) in Oyo State lack knowledge of HIV
prevention. Neither reproductive health services including HIV/AIDS prevention nor prophylactic treatments are available to them.
Conclusion: In view of above results, increased social services including HIV/AIDS prevention, prophylactic treatments and health promotions are recommended.