The Role of Health Education Intervention towards Improving Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Onchocerciasis in Enugu State, Southern Nigeria

  •  Babatunde Omotowo    
  •  Uchechukwu Ezeoke    
  •  Miriam Ajuba    
  •  Anne Ndu    
  •  Ogochukwu Okafor    
  •  Ijeoma Meka    
  •  Ifeanyi Eyisi    


BACKGROUND: Onchocerciasis or river blindness constitutes a major burden to households especially in resource-poor settings, causing debilitation and reduction in household productivity. It is an endemic disease in Nigeria. The study aimed to determine the effect of health education on knowledge, attitudes and practices towards onchocerciasis.

METHODS: This study was an intervention study carried out among 282 respondents. A multistage sampling technique was used to select the study sample. 

RESULTS: Both study and control groups had poor knowledge, 40.4% and 41.2% respectively pre-intervention. However, most of the respondents had good practices, but attitudes towards the disease is poor as most respondents do not see onchocerciasis as a serious problem. Knowledge of respondents improved significantly among the study group (X2=37.814, P=0.046) compared to control group (X2=1.756, P=0.416) post-intervention. Also, practices (X2=21.378, P=0.039) towards onchocerciasis improved significantly, but changes in attitudes was not statistically significant post-intervention among study group (X2=35.908, P=0.278).

CONCLUSIONS: From our study, health education was shown to improve knowledge and practices on onchocerciasis in the study group compared to control group. Health promotion interventions such as health education campaigns should be scaled-up in onchocerciasis-endemic communities.

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