ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-86

Use of community volunteers to improve knowledge and uptake of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus screening services among community members in Qu'an Pan Local Government Area, Plateau State


1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
2 Monitoring and Evaluation Department, FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yetunde O Tagurum
Department of Community Medicine, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.139058

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Background: The global impact of the converging dual epidemics of tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS is one of the major public health challenges of our time. Ignorance, fear, stigma and poverty have promoted the course of TB and HIV infections, particularly among people residing in the rural areas despite the availability of free diagnostic and treatment services. Community volunteers (CV) have been used successfully to promote and sustain knowledge and utilization of health services in various parts of the world. This study sought to determine the impact of the use of CV on knowledge and uptake of TB/HIV screening services in the study population. Methodology: The study design was a community-based quasi-experimental study. A multistage sampling technique was used to select the study participants. The Primary Health Care (PHC centres offering TB and HIV screening services were the primary sampling units while the communities close to the PHCs were the secondary sampling units. The intervention involved a CV in each community providing education and services on TB and HIV/AIDS infections to the community members. Knowledge and uptake of TB and HIV screening services among the community members were assessed before and after the intervention. Results: A total of 1305 people were recruited into the study and five communities each were selected per PHC. Postintervention, there was an increase in the knowledge of the cause, mode of transmission, symptoms and treatment of TB among community members from a mean score of 2.23 ± 2.31 to 5.37 ± 2.64 (P < 0.0001). There was also an increase in the knowledge of the modes of transmission, symptoms and prevention of HIV/AIDS among community members from a mean score of 6.66 ± 2.92 to 8.36 ± 3.35 (P < 0.0001). Uptake of TB screening rose from 59.4% to 75.0% (P = 0.0161) among community members with a history of chronic cough and uptake of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) also rose from 53.8% to 64.1% (P = 0.0215) among the community members. Conclusion: Community Volunteers were found to improve the people's knowledge of TB and HIV/AIDS infections as well as uptake of HCT and TB screening services. Their use will help improve TB and HIV collaborative activities and also contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with TB and HIV infections.


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