Control of onchocerciasis, a filarial disease commonly known as river blindness, is difficult at the village or primary care level. Massive attacks on the vectors are outside the resources of a small village and personal protection measures such as wearing long clothes are found inconvenient by local farming populations. Treatment then becomes a potentially desirable control measure. Unfortunately existing treatment options pose major compliance problems. Medications themselves have serious side effects and organizational factors within the health services often inhibit successful delivery of these medications at the local level. Cultural factors also play a role in nonacceptance of modern therapy. The beliefs of villagers in farm settlements on the outskirts of Ibadan, Nigeria, do have some overlap with western scientific ideas. These similarities could be used as communication bridges during counseling and possibly reduce some of the cultural barriers to compliance so that patients may enjoy the disability limiting effects of available onchocerciasis therapy.
- Educational diagnosis
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