Peripheral health workers' knowledge and practices related to filarial lymphedema care: a study in an endemic district of Orissa, India.

Abstract

The Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF), which includes alleviation of disability and suffering of patients, is run primarily in India by the primary health care system. The present study assessed the knowledge and practices related to lymphedema care among peripheral health workers of the primary health care system in a filarial-endemic district of Orissa, India. A total of 41 health workers sampled across the district were subjected to in-depth interviews. The results showed that many lymphedema patients visit the peripheral health institutions mostly for the treatment of acute episodes of lymphangitis. Many health workers do not know the concept of foot care and its importance in lymphedema management. However, a few health workers advised the patients to follow some components of foot care. The knowledge levels and practices of peripheral health workers are not at desirable levels. The medical and paramedical staff of the peripheral health institutions should be oriented about the management of lymphedema and peripheral health workers should promote the foot care practices. For the GPELF as a whole to prove successful, the patients who already have lymphedema need to be cared for and have their morbidity relieved as much as possible.

Cite this paper

@article{Rath2005PeripheralHW, title={Peripheral health workers' knowledge and practices related to filarial lymphedema care: a study in an endemic district of Orissa, India.}, author={Kalyani Rath and Basanta Kumar Swain and Shaloumy Mishra and Trishna Patasahani and Anna Salomi Kerketta and Bontha V Babu}, journal={The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene}, year={2005}, volume={72 4}, pages={430-3} }