Original Research

Healthcare users' knowledge and experiences regarding the management of scabies in the Deder district, Ethiopia

Sagni C. Jira, Kholofelo L. Matlhaba, David D. Mphuthi
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 14, No 12 | a15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2305 | © 2024 Sagni C. Jira, Kholofelo L. Matlhaba, David D. Mphuthi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 March 2024 | Published: 30 December 2023

About the author(s)

Sagni C. Jira, Department of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease, Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Kholofelo L. Matlhaba, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
David D. Mphuthi, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background. Scabies is an ectoparasitic, highly contagious skin disease caused by a human itch mite infes‑ tation of the skin, and it is the leading cause of morbidity and disease burden in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to investigate healthcare users' current knowledge and experiences with scabies management provided at primary healthcare facilities. Materials and Methods. A qualitative research design was used to address the research objectives. Focus group interviews with 58 health care users were used to collect data. Thematic analysis was performed on the verbatim transcriptions using Tesch's approach. Results. The findings showed that the knowledge of healthcare users who participated in the study on scabies, its management, prevention, and control was limited. Health care users experience different chal‑ lenges regarding scabies and the management thereof. Five themes emerged after data analysis. These were knowledge regarding scabies, knowledge regarding the management of scabies, knowledge regarding the prevention of scabies, perceptions regarding receiving treatment for scabies, and recommendations regarding the availability of materials and medication. Conclusions. Healthcare users in the area had limited knowledge and experienced different challenges regarding scabies and their management. These challenges contribute to low‑quality health services with undesir‑ able health outcomes. To narrow this gap, consistent and programed health education was provided to the community through different modalities by using the existing health system to increase awareness regarding scabies. Following the implementation of community awareness, each commu‑ nity member was positioned to prevent and control scabies.


healthcare users; scabies; experience; knowledge


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