Generating Political Priority for Onchocerciasis Control
Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) is a chronic parasitic disease caused by the filarial nematode worm Onchocerca volvulus and transmitted by blackfly bites. Onchocerciasis is endemic in 33 out of 36 Nigeria’s States. Appropriate intervention and public health policy are needed to address this problem at the grassroot level. Therefore, this study will generate political commitment for the prevention and control of onchocerciasis in endemic local government areas in Oyo and Osun State, Nigeria.
All the 22 and 25 local government chairmen in onchocerciasis endemic areas in Osun and Oyo States respectively will be used for this study. Both qualitative (in depth interview) and quantitative (semi-structured questionnaires) methods of data collection will be adopted. The questionnaire will be administered at the pre intervention phase. The participants will receive educational intervention on the knowledge, perception and political strategies for onchocerciasis control through adequate resource allocation, policies and laws. A planning committee comprising of representatives of the participants (trainees), Ministries of Health and Local Government, House of Assembly and the Blue Gate Initiative project team shall be constituted to plan, implement and evaluate this training programme. It is expected that this project will end in March 2020.