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Healthcare-seeking behaviour in reporting of scabies and skin infections in Ghana – a review of reported cases

Healthcare-seeking behaviour in reporting of scabies and skin infections in Ghana – a review of reported cases
Healthcare-seeking behaviour in reporting of scabies and skin infections in Ghana – a review of reported cases

Background: scabies is a neglected tropical disease. In resource-poor settings, scabies and other skin infections are often unreported to a health centre, or misdiagnosed. Dermatological expertise and training are often lacking. Little is known about patient healthcare-seeking behaviour. This study reviewed diagnosed skin infections reported to urban (Greater Accra) and rural (Oti region) study health centres in Ghana over six months in 2019. 

Methods: study staff received classroom and clinical dermatology training. Skin infection diagnoses and anonymised patient information were recorded. Descriptive statistics and spatial analysis described patient demographics, and distance travelled to clinic, noting bypassing of their nearest centre. 

Results: overall, 385 cases of skin infectionswere reported across the Greater Accra and Oti study clinics, with 45 scabies cases (11.6%). For scabies, 29 (64.4%) cases were in males. Scabies was the third most common diagnosis, behind bacterial dermatitis (102, 26.5%) and tinea (75, 19.5%). In the rural Oti region, 48.4% of patients bypassed their nearest clinic, travelling a mean 6.2 km further than they theoretically needed to. Females travelled further in comparison to males. 

Conclusions: there must be greater public and professional awareness of scabies and skin infections as highburden but treatable conditions, along with assessment of their community burden.

Ghana, NTDs, dermatology, neglected tropical diseases, scabies, skin infections
0035-9203
830-837
Head, Michael
67ce0afc-2fc3-47f4-acf2-8794d27ce69c
Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred
02d3e356-268e-4650-9fb9-9638ccdb6eff
Boateng, Laud
fef98898-6a82-4622-aa70-4fc7e9e066b0
Lartey, Margaret
7dfd5502-c5c1-4d69-8b78-4f03366e936f
Head, Michael
67ce0afc-2fc3-47f4-acf2-8794d27ce69c
Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred
02d3e356-268e-4650-9fb9-9638ccdb6eff
Boateng, Laud
fef98898-6a82-4622-aa70-4fc7e9e066b0
Lartey, Margaret
7dfd5502-c5c1-4d69-8b78-4f03366e936f

Head, Michael, Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Winfred, Boateng, Laud and Lartey, Margaret (2020) Healthcare-seeking behaviour in reporting of scabies and skin infections in Ghana – a review of reported cases. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 114 (11), 830-837. (doi:10.1093/trstmh/traa071).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: scabies is a neglected tropical disease. In resource-poor settings, scabies and other skin infections are often unreported to a health centre, or misdiagnosed. Dermatological expertise and training are often lacking. Little is known about patient healthcare-seeking behaviour. This study reviewed diagnosed skin infections reported to urban (Greater Accra) and rural (Oti region) study health centres in Ghana over six months in 2019. 

Methods: study staff received classroom and clinical dermatology training. Skin infection diagnoses and anonymised patient information were recorded. Descriptive statistics and spatial analysis described patient demographics, and distance travelled to clinic, noting bypassing of their nearest centre. 

Results: overall, 385 cases of skin infectionswere reported across the Greater Accra and Oti study clinics, with 45 scabies cases (11.6%). For scabies, 29 (64.4%) cases were in males. Scabies was the third most common diagnosis, behind bacterial dermatitis (102, 26.5%) and tinea (75, 19.5%). In the rural Oti region, 48.4% of patients bypassed their nearest clinic, travelling a mean 6.2 km further than they theoretically needed to. Females travelled further in comparison to males. 

Conclusions: there must be greater public and professional awareness of scabies and skin infections as highburden but treatable conditions, along with assessment of their community burden.

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scabies and skin infections ghana - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 24 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 August 2020
Published date: 1 November 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the University of Southampton Strategic Development Fund (no reference number). The full study team list is as follows, in alphabetical order of family name/surname: Frempong Adom, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Paul Angwaawie, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Laud Boateng, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Esther Danquah, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Winfred Dotse-Gborgborsti, University of Southampton, UK; Rita- Patricia Frimpong-Amenyo, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Michael Head, University of Southampton, UK; Rudolph Lamptey, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Abraham Lartey, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Margaret Lartey, University of Ghana, Ghana; Roseline Osazuwa, Rabito Clinic, Ghana; Bright Osei, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Ann Sena Patamia, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Emmanuel Kofi Sevor, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Adolph Sika, Ghana Health Service, Ghana; Castro Yakubu, Rabito Clinic, Ghana. The study team would like to acknowledge all GHS staff in Nkwanta South and Kpone-Katamanso who contributed to or supported the project. This includes Evans Attivor, Emmanuel Abgodogli and Kpemlie Christine fromNkwanta South. We would like to acknowledge the input of Dominic Atweam and the GHS NTD Office for their support around reporting of scabies. We would also like to thank Ms Karen Hendrickson (Chief Executive Officer of Rabito Clinics), Dermatologist Dr Claudia Donkor and Rabito Clinics for their support with the study, and for hosting the clinic training day. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s).
Keywords: Ghana, NTDs, dermatology, neglected tropical diseases, scabies, skin infections

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442741
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442741
ISSN: 0035-9203
PURE UUID: e0af8f19-ca91-4ee5-aed7-31bff286a32f
ORCID for Michael Head: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1189-0531
ORCID for Winfred Dotse-Gborgbortsi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7627-1809

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Date deposited: 24 Jul 2020 16:31
Last modified: 12 Jun 2024 04:05

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Contributors

Author: Michael Head ORCID iD
Author: Winfred Dotse-Gborgbortsi ORCID iD
Author: Laud Boateng
Author: Margaret Lartey

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