Caregivers' perceptions of cleft deformity and experiences in accessing cleft services at a tertiary public hospital in Sokoto, NorthWest, Nigeria
Taiwo, Abdurrazaq Olanrewaju
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Cleft lip and/or palate deformity is the most common facial birth defect with an incidence of 1 in 600 for every live birth worldwide. Despite the availability of specialised cleft care in Nigeria, many cleft patients are not aware that CL±Ps can be repaired and, thus, present late for treatment. As a result, there is a high incidence of unoperated CL±P in the country which has a grim negative health impact on the population. Furthermore, it was noted that the family caregivers including parents and other members of the extended family are crucial in getting early care for these children with CL±P. Therefore, understanding the perception of CL±P, attitude and experience with cleft services would go a long way in reducing the problem of late presentation and under-utilisation of these services. Therefore, the aim of the study was to explore the care givers’ perception and experience in accessing cleft services at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria. In this study, we employed an exploratory qualitative methodology that gave deep insights and provided clear understanding of the perceptions by caregivers of children with CL±P on the aetiology of cleft, family reactions and their experience in accessing cleft services at our hospital. Data analysis was done following verbatim transcription using thematic analysis. Ethics statement: Before commencement of the study, ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Boards of the University of Western Cape and the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Health Research and Ethics Committee. Informed consent was sought from each prospective participant and the signed form appropriately documented.