Background: Lay diagnosis is a widely used diagnostic approach for home management of common illnesses in Nigeria. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of caregivers and healthcare professionals on lay diagnosis of childhood malaria and pneumonia. Aligned to this, the study sought to explore the feasibility of training caregivers in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines for improved recognition and treatment of these diseases.
Methods: A qualitative study using individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews was conducted in Benin City, Nigeria. Participants included 13 caregivers with children under 5 years and 17 healthcare professionals (HPs). An inductive approach to thematic analysis was used to generate themes and analyses.
Results: Caregivers relied on lay diagnosis but recognised its limitations. The perceived severity of malaria and pneumonia significantly influenced caregivers' preference for reliance on lay diagnosis practices, health-seeking behaviour and willingness to undertake training in IMCI guidelines for home management of diseases. Safety and potential unintended misuse of medications were recognised by caregivers and HPs as the main challenges.
Conclusions: The high level of acceptance among caregivers to receive IMCI training could help improve effective management of childhood malaria and pneumonia at the community level through early recognition and prompt treatment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information: This work was supported by the University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellors Scholarship for Research Excellence and the Nigeria Tertiary Education Trust Fund to KOE’s doctoral programme in the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Nottingham.
Open Access: No Open Access.
Publisher Copyright:© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved.
Citation: Kelly O Elimian, Puja R Myles, Revati Phalkey, Ayebo Sadoh, Catherine Pritchard, ‘Everybody in Nigeria is a doctor…’: a qualitative study of stakeholder perspectives on lay diagnosis of malaria and pneumonia in Nigeria, Journal of Public Health, Volume 42, Issue 2, June 2020, Pages 353–361.
- Integrated management of childhood illness
- Lay diagnosis
- Nigeria primary healthcare