Objective: To improve knowledge and practice of health staff as well as the availability of material resources for diagnosis and management of schistosomiasis in two endemic provinces of DRC (Kinshasa and Bas-Congo).
Methods: Structured interviews were performed using questionnaires with staff from 35 healthcare facilities in 9 health zones (HZ) of Kinshasa and 2 HZ in Bas-Congo.
Results: Schistosomiasis was reported to be present in all the included HZ. Health staff knew the most important symptoms of schistosomiasis, but advanced symptoms were more accurately reported in Bas-Congo. Knowledge of symptoms related to schistosomiasis such as anemia (P = 0.0 115) and pollakiuria (P = 0.0 260) was statistically different in both two provinces. Kato-Katz technique and urine filtration were unavailable in both provinces. Parasitological diagnosis was mostly performed using the direct smear method. PZQ was available in 70% of the health facilities, all situated in Bas-Congo. Diagnosis and treatment mostly relied on symptoms and cost more in urban area than in rural.
Conclusions: Though knowledge on schistosomiasis among health staff appears sufficient, substantial efforts still must be made to improve the availability of diagnostic tools and treatment in the health facilities in DRC.