Effects Of Blackfly Bites And Manifestations Of Human Onchocerciasis On The Productivity of Farmers

  • PO Ubachukwu Department of Zoology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • AO Anya Department of Zoology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka


This study was designed to determine the effects of human onchocerciasis on the productivity of farmers from Nkpologu in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. Data for the study were collected through the use of semi-structured interview schedule. Frequency distribution and percentage were used in analyzing the data. The findings of the study indicated that (1) onchocerciasis had serious adverse effects on productivity of the farmers; (2) the onchocerciasis manifestation with the most serious adverse effects was blindness or serious visual impairment; (3) other manifestations of onchocerciasis such as presence of rashes, palpable nodules and leopard skin did not have significant adverse effects; (4) in addition to onchocerciasis manifestations, the bites of the blackfly vector of the disease also reduced the productivity of the farmers and (5) in terms of debility, onchocerciasis resulted in reduced labour input (work time) and labour output (labour efficiency). On the basis of these findings, it was recommended that (1) the control of the disease in this area by the use of the choice drug, Mectizan (Ivermectin) should be intensified by the control agents (WHO) under the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) in collaboration with the health care personnel in the area; (2) enlightenment campaigns on the aetiology and socio-economic effects of onchocerciasis be carried out in the area and (3) use of repellents against the blackflies during farming should be encouraged.

Agro-Science Vol.2(1) 2001: 9-16

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eISSN: 1119-7455