Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

COMMUNITY PERCEPTIONS ON THE COMMUNITY-DIRECTED TREATMENT AND SCHOOL-BASED APPROACHES FOR THE CONTROL OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS AND SOIL-TRANSMITTED HELMINTHIASIS AMONG SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN IN LUSHOTO DISTRICT, TANZANIA

K. MASSAa1, P. MAGNUSSENa2, A. SHESHEa1, R. NTAKAMULENGAa3, B. NDAWIa4 and A. OLSENa2

a1 School of Environmental Health, Tanga, Tanzania

a2 DBL-Centre for Health Research and Development, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

a3 National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

a4 Primary Health Care Institute, Iringa, Tanzania

Summary

The success of the Community-Directed Treatment (ComDT) approach in the control of onchocerciasis and filariasis has caught the attention of other disease control programmes. In this study the ComDT approach was implemented and compared with the school-based approach for control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis among school-age children in Lushoto District, Tanzania. This was a qualitative study, consisting of in-depth interviews with village leaders, community drug distributors (CDDs) and schoolteachers, as well as focus group discussions with separate groups of mothers and fathers to assess the perceptions and experiences of the villagers on the implementation of the two approaches. It was found that the villagers accepted the ComDT approach and took the responsibility of selecting the CDDs, organizing and implementing their own method of distributing drugs to the school-age children in their villages. The ComDT approach was well received and was successfully implemented in the villages. Although the villagers pointed out the limitation in reaching the non-enrolled children in the school-based approach, they also expressed satisfaction with this approach. This study suggests that the ComDT approach is well accepted and can be implemented effectively to ensure better coverage of especially non-enrolled school-age children.