Bringing Down Hurdles for Female Genital Schistosomiasis Access to Care: A Multi-Country Socio-Structural Integrated Approach to Developing A Community-Based Teaching Platform

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Research question

Can female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) screening be successfully promoted through a community-based teaching intervention addressing stigma and other socio-structural barriers to increase health-seeking behaviours nested in broader sexual and reproductive health (SRH) prevention services?

What are the capacities, readiness and opportunities of the health systems in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi to integrate screening and diagnosis of FGS for women and adolescent girls within SRH services, specifically cervical cancer prevention, HIV and STI self-testing and screening?  
2.    To which extent will the community-based teaching platform result in a significant uptake (defined as 50% of resident women in the population catchment aged 15-40) screened for FGS, coupled with cervical cancer screening and HIV/STI among women?
3.    What are the core components of the community-based FGS teaching intervention, including anti-stigma education and participatory approach that are demonstrated to be transferrable across contexts?"

Study sites


We aim to work in one endemic community in each country, selecting a primary health care facility with screening opportunities and with a population catchment of approximately 9000.  Of this number, we estimate that half the population is over 15 years, and approximately 1,350 are women aged 15 to 40 years.  We aim to screen a maximum of 750 of these women in each country site during the two months of the intervention, resulting in a sample size of 2,250. 
For the qualitative research, in the baseline we will have a total of approximately 210 participants (at least 130 will be women or girls) across the three countries from FGDs and IDIs, and we will conduct 7 days of observations.  For the evaluation, across the three countries, we will conduct 24 structured observations of the intervention implementation in two months, pilot the stigma scale by administering it to 300 women or girls and conduct 90 exit interviews, as well as monitoring records at the health facilities.

This study is In progress


Elizabeth Long

Lead institution(s)

Funding partner(s)

Reference information

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