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Saturday, 4 August 2018
Post-epidemic awareness and knowledge of Lassa fever among residents in affected community in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Research (Published online: 04-08-2018)
7. Post-epidemic awareness and knowledge of Lassa fever among residents in affected community in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
E. J. Awosanya
Veterinary World, 11(8): 1059-1063
Aim: An outbreak of Lassa fever occurred in Ibadan with a case fatality rate of 50% in 2012. Awareness creation and sensitization is a known disease prevention and control strategy. An assessment of the awareness level and knowledge of Lassa fever in the affected community and a nearby university community was done to aid the development of effective information, education, and communication (IEC) material adaptable to the affected community.
Materials and Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain the data about awareness and knowledge of Lassa fever from 130 respondents. Descriptive statistics and statistical differences between categorical variables were done using Fisher's exact test at 5% significant level.
Results: Respondents' age was 29.9 ± 10.9 years. Awareness level in the affected and university communities was 42 (65%) and 55 (85%), respectively (p=0.02). The most reported source of awareness was the television and radio (59.8%). Only 33.1% of all respondents had good knowledge of the clinical symptoms. Most (68.5%) of the respondents knew rat as the reservoir: However, 56.9% and 80.0% of respondents from the affected and university communities, respectively, had this knowledge (p=0.01). About one-third (30.0%) of the respondents had good knowledge of preventive measures: 18.5% and 41.5% from affected and university communities, respectively (p=0.01).
Conclusion: Knowledge of respondents on Lassa fever symptoms, reservoir, and preventive measures was low in the affected community; the IEC material was developed to address the knowledge gaps. Awareness was also intensified in the affected community.