Article thumbnail

Drawing and interpreting data: Children's impressions of onchocerciasis and community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) in four onchocerciasis endemic countries in Africa

By Mary Amuyunzu-Nyamongo, Yolande Flore Longang Tchounkeu, Rahel Akumu Oyugi, Asaph Turinde Kabali, Joseph C. Okeibunor, Cele Manianga and Uche V. Amazigo


Although the depiction of a child leading a blind man is the most enduring image of onchocerciasis in Africa, research activities have hardly involved children. This paper aims at giving voice to children through drawings and their interpretation. The study was conducted in 2009 in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Uganda. Children aged 6–16 years were asked to draw their perceptions of onchocerciasis and community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) in their communities. A total of 50 drawings were generated. The drawings depicted four main aspects of onchocerciasis: (1) the disease symptoms, (2) the negative consequences of onchocerciasis among children and in the community generally, (3) the ivermectin distribution process, and (4) the benefits or effects of taking ivermectin. Out of the 50 drawings, 30 were on symptoms, 7 on effects of the disease on children, 8 on distribution process, and 5 represented multiple perceptions on symptoms, drug distribution processes, benefits, and effects of treatment. The lack of clarity when treatment with ivermectin can be stopped in endemic areas requires working with children to ensure continued compliance with treatment into the future. Children's drawings should be incorporated into health education interventions

Topics: Empirical Studies
Publisher: CoAction Publishing
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2005). Desired outcomes for children and young people with complex health care needs, and children who do not use speech for communication.
  2. (1998). Don’t leave us out*Involving disabled children and young people with communication impairments.
  3. (2009). Feasibility of onchocerciasis elimination with ivermectin treatment in endemic foci in Africa:
  4. (2001). from http://www.earlychildhoo com_content&do_pdf 1&id 996 M. Amuyunzu-Nyamongo et al. (page number not for citation purpose) Citation: Int J Qualitative Stud Health Well-being 2011; 6: 5918 - DOI:
  5. (1974). Historical origin of the health belief model.
  6. (2003). Including all children: finding out about the experiences of children with communication and/or cognitive impairments.
  7. (1983). Interpreting children’s drawings.
  8. (1994). Onchocerciasis and women’s reproductive health: indigenous and biomedical concepts.
  9. (2002). Partnership and promise: Evolution of the African river-blindness campaigns.
  10. (2007). Performance of predictors: Evaluating sustainability in community directed projects of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control.
  11. (2008). Research on children’s drawings. Retrieved
  12. (2004). Review of epidemiological studies searching for a relationship between onchocerciasis and epilepsy.
  13. (1991). Socio-cultural factors associated with prevalence and intensity of onchocerciasis and onchodermatitis among adolescent girls in rural Nigeria. SET/ TDR Project Report. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  14. (1999). Space for us: Finding out what disabled children and young people think about their placements. London: Borough of Newham.
  15. (1998). Stigma associated with onchocercal skin disease among those affected near the Ofiki and Oyan Rivers in Western Nigeria.
  16. (2002). Using Scope Services.
  17. (2008). Young children’s meaning-making through drawing and ‘‘telling’’: Analogies to filmic textual features (free fulltext available): Last updated Thursday,