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Assessment of the knowledge of teachers about asthma and the availability of facilities for asthma care in public secondary schools in Lagos, Nigeria

O O Adeyeye
Y A Kuyinu
O B Ozoh


Background. Asthma is a common chronic illness affecting young people. Asthma management at schools may be influenced by teachers’ knowledge of the condition and the availability of treatment facilities.
Objective. To assess the knowledge of secondary school teachers in Lagos, Nigeria, regarding asthma and to evaluate management options available at schools.
Method. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted. Schools were selected by proportional sampling of the educational districts, followed by stratified single-stage cluster sampling. All consenting teachers in the 54 selected schools were recruited. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. A composite score was calculated, with 32 as the maximum possible. Knowledge was regarded as poor if scores were <16, fair for scores between 16 and 21, and good if scores were ≥22.
Results. Results show that 475 (48.1%) of the respondents had poor knowledge, 414 (41.9%) had fair knowledge, and only 99 (10%) had good knowledge. Better knowledge about asthma was associated with personal experience (χ2=16.466; p=0.001) or history of a family member with the condition (χ2=6.412; p=0.04). Of the 54 schools surveyed, only 9 (16%) had a school clinic, while a school nurse was available at only 4 (7.41%) of the schools. None of the schools had access to a nebuliser in case of an asthma emergency.
Conclusion. Teachers in secondary schools in Lagos have unsatisfactory knowledge about asthma and are not equipped to support affected students during an asthma episode.

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