This study engages the theory of “collaborative co-design” to role model and deliver lessons on optimal educational collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners (dermatologists, GHWs) to have the greatest coverage and impact for persons affected by skin NTDs, such as leprosy.
Collaborative co-design to optimize evidence-based and contextual general health worker training in
integrated screening for leprosy and other skin NTDs in Nigeria
Because a lot of Nigerians have diseases related to their skin, and there are not enough specialty doctors (dermatologists) to treat such illnesses, it is necessary to increase early checks on individuals for skin disease and to train other health workers to provide the care that doctors have been. This means that support workers called General health workers (GHW) are important people to train. But, GHW’s do not
learn much about skin diseases. This is especially the case for neglected tropical skin diseases (skin NTDs) such as leprosy, which can cause disability, exclusion and discrimination. To successfully improve this knowledge gap and foster early diagnosis and treatment of patients with skin NTDs, it is important to not only train GHWs, but to involve them in the design of their training.
This study will use both numerical and language-based information in three different steps. First, we will study what other researchers have written about GHW training for looking at skin diseases, and hold a meeting with GHWs themselves to plan a training. Second, we will conduct three training sessions with Nigerian GHWs, and collect numeral information about whether it was good or not, and whether GHWs learned from it. Third, we will ask the GHWs, and trainers what they learned that can be applied in other places and programmes. This study will give us a well-designed training that can be used by others in different places in the future, a research paper about what we found, a research paper saying what the literature says about such training; and improved skills of participants, including Nigerian GHWs. All materials which resulted from this study will be made available free of charge (open-access) to further enhance capacity strengthening in recognizing leprosy and other skin NTDs internationally.