Original Research

Knowledge and practices of sickle cell disease among healthcare providers in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ange-Christian M. Ngonde, Jean-Pierre L. Fina, Edu Burgueno, Phillippe N. Lukanu
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 16, No 1 | a3631 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v16i1.3631 | © 2024 Ange-Christian M. Ngonde, Jean-Pierre L. Fina, Edu Burgueno, Phillippe N. Lukanu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 April 2022 | Published: 15 February 2024

About the author(s)

Ange-Christian M. Ngonde, Selembao General Referral Hospital, Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, Protestant University of Congo, Kinshasa, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Jean-Pierre L. Fina, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, Protestant University of Congo, Kinshasa, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Edu Burgueno, Faculty of Medicine, University of Mwene-Ditu, Kasai, The Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Versale Medical Centre, Kinshasa, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Phillippe N. Lukanu, Faculty of Medicine, University of Mwene-Ditu, Kasai, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the

Abstract

Background: In Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a low evocation of the diagnosis of sickle cell disease (SCD) by first-level healthcare providers (HCPs), most likely because of poor knowledge of the disease.

Aim: To assess the levels of knowledge and practices of SCD and to identify determinants of the practices among primary HCPs.

Setting: Healthcare facilities in Selembao health zone in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of HCPs randomly selected through a two-stage sampling design. Data were collected using a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Univariate and bivariate analysis were done to describe the levels of knowledge and practices of SCD. Factors associated with better practices on SCD were determined using multiple linear regression. The threshold for statistical significance was p ˂ 0.05.

Results: A total of 318 HCPs, which included 80 physicians and 238 nurses, participated in the study. The participants showed different scores on the components of the knowledge. All the participants showed poor practices on SCD. Multiple linear regression retained overall knowledge of SCD as a significant predictor of better practice for physicians. Knowledge of SCD and duration of work experience were significant predictors of better practices among nurses.

Conclusion: The practices of healthcare providers on SCD were far from optimal. These practices were significantly associated with knowledge and experience of healthcare providers.

Contribution: This study highlighted the need for continuing professional education to enhance the management of SCD in the setting.


Keywords

sickle cell disease; healthcare providers; knowledge; practices; primary health care

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