The Quality of Leprosy Services from the Patient’s Perspective – Result of Client Satisfaction Studies in 3 NLR-Supported States in Nigeria
Background and Purpose: An initiative was undertaken by the Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) to formulate guidelines for conducting a study to assess ‘quality of leprosy services for the patients’ perspective’. These new guidelines were used in the end evaluation of leprosy programmes of three States (Jigawa, Kaduna and Plateau) in Nigeria. Methodology: Qualitative methods of data collection (semistructured interview, focus group discussion (FGD) and priority cards) were used. A total of 24 patients were interviewed (Jigawa (6), Kaduna (6) and Plateau (12) and 7 FGDs were conducted; Jigawa (2), Kaduna (2) and Plateau (3). In addition, 17 community members were interviewed. Results: The results show that most patients were satisfied with the quality of leprosy services offered to them, but more in Jigawa and Kaduna, than in Plateau State. However the need to educate communities on symptoms of leprosy and the availability of MDT services in the health services came out as universal recommendations from all the studies. Poor knowledge regarding leprosy caused patients to continue to use a traditional healer, which is a major source of delay in reporting for treatment, with development of disability as a consequence.
Key words: Iron deficiency, anaemia, pregnancy, booking, Gombe