Original Research

Factors influencing the use of intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women seeking care at primary healthcare facilities in the Bwari Area Council, Abuja, Nigeria

Grace O. Peters, Mergan Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2256 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2256 | © 2020 Grace O. Peters, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 October 2019 | Published: 16 April 2020

About the author(s)

Grace O. Peters, Discipline of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Discipline of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The use of intermittent preventive treatment-sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine (IPT-SP), adapted by Nigeria, is one key preventive strategy recommended by the World Health Organization. Because antenatal clinics serve as the usual entry point for IPT-SP implementation, this study explored healthcare workers’ knowledge and practice, which are key to optimal IPT-SP coverage.

Aim: This study aimed to explore the knowledge and practices of healthcare workers on the direct observation of IPT-SP amongst pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) in the Bwari Area Council (BWAC) of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.

Setting: The study took place at five different wards of Bwari Area Council and eight Antenatal care facilities in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.

Methods: In-depth interviews and indirect observations were conducted among purposively selected healthcare workers in charge of the ANC of the eligible facilities. The study explored the knowledge and practices of healthcare workers on intermittent preventive treatment. Data were transcribed, translated and manually coded, and thematic analysis was conducted.

Results: Healthcare workers’ knowledge of IPT-SP, mode of administration and the rationale behind the use were poor. They all agreed that IPT-SP is supposed to be administered as a directly observed therapy at the clinic, but this practice was non-existent.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that factors such as adequate technical skill, accessibility and availability of logistics influence knowledge and practice of IPT service delivery. Therefore, measures should be put in place to address gaps identified by this study.


Keywords

intermittent preventive treatment; pregnant women; malaria; antenatal care; healthcare workers; healthcare providers; Nigeria

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