Perceptions, attitudes and practices on schistosomiasis in Delta State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Urinary schistosomiasis, which is one of the commonest forms of the parasitic disease is a major debilitating disease characterized by blood in urine. The main objective of the study reported here was to assess the knowledge, attitude/perception and practices of the people in Oshimili South and Ndokwa Northeast Local Government Areas of Delta State in Nigeria. A cross-sectional study of 400 randomly selected persons aged > or =15 years was undertaken using a uniform set of structured interview schedule administered by trained field assistants. This was supported with some qualitative data collected from in-depth interview with community leaders and school teachers as well as focus group discussions with community members. One-third of the people interviewed were aware of the schistosomiasis. For a majority however, the perceived causes of the disease included witchcraft and sexual or body contact with infected persons. For some of the respondents, the disease is not serious since it does not harm or prevent the victim from eating. In many cases the disease was not treated because of the belief that there is no effective cure for it and that it reoccurs after treatment. But perhaps more importantly, the infection is not treated because it is considered a normal growing up process, which the infected person outgrows. A very high proportion of people depended on the schistosomiasis-infected river for all the domestic needs even where there are alternative sources of water. People argued that the river/ stream give them purer water than the hand dug wells. Furthermore, swimming is a popular activity in the river during all seasons, irrespective of sex and age. In conclusion, the study has identified gaps in the knowledge of the cause and means of transmission, poor perception and management practices, which calls for systematic health education on schistosomiasis in the communities

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Cite this paper

@article{Onyeneho2010PerceptionsAA, title={Perceptions, attitudes and practices on schistosomiasis in Delta State, Nigeria.}, author={Nkechi G. Onyeneho and Paul Yinkore and John Egwuage and Emmanuel C Emukah}, journal={Tanzania journal of health research}, year={2010}, volume={12 4}, pages={287-98} }