Original Research

Utilisation of village health workers’ services for tuberculosis screening in Lesotho

Regina M. Thetsane, Motšelisi Mokhethi, Maseabata Ramathebane, Nthatisi Leseba
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 4| a5581 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5581 | © 2022 Regina M. Thetsane, Motšelisi Mokhethi, Maseabata Ramathebane, Nthatisi Leseba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 May 2022 | Published: 21 September 2022

About the author(s)

Regina M. Thetsane, Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Motšelisi Mokhethi, Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Maseabata Ramathebane, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Nthatisi Leseba, Department of Statistics and Demography, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho

Abstract

Background: Village health workers (VHWs) play an essential role because they extend the capacity of primary healthcare, particularly for developing countries. In Lesotho, VHWs are part of the primary healthcare connecting the community with clinics in their respective villages. They contribute to the prevention of the spread of tuberculosis (TB) within their catchment areas by encouraging communities to partake in TB screening. This study aimed at identifying factors associated with the utilisation of VHWs’ service to undertake TB screenings in Lesotho.

Methods: This study emanates from the main study that used a cross-sectional descriptive design. A total of 19 health service areas (HSAs) comprised 17 catchment areas and two clinics, each randomly selected from the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and the Lesotho Flying Doctors Service (LFDS), respectively. A total of 2928 individual household members aged 15 and above were included in the study. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: There were more female than male respondents, with a majority (77%) below 65 years of age. Tuberculosis knowledge of respondents was mostly on the TB symptoms and curability of TB, but they were less knowledgeable about the causes of TB. The use of VHWs’ services for TB screening was very low (23.3%).

Conclusion: The study revealed that while respondents were to some extent knowledgeable about TB, their utilisation of VHWs’ services for TB screening varied with education level, having worked in South Africa and the household size at α = 0.01.

 


Keywords

village health workers; tuberculosis; TB screening; TB knowledge; VHWs’ services

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