Studies on knowledge, attitude and perceptions of dracunculiasis in Ebonyi State, Nigeria
AbstractRandomly selected guinea worm patients from several communities of endemic dracunculiasis in Ebonyi State were examined and interviewed on knowledge, attitude and perceived cause of dracunculiasis between April 1999 and March 2000. Of the 450 guinea worm patients, there were 254 and 196 males and females respectively. In the age distribution, those in their productive years (11-60 years old) accounted for 88%, the very young 2%, while those from 61 years and above accounted for 9%. About 15% of the respondents associated infection with the supernatural, 55% with drinking of contaminated water, while 21% believed it was a familiar trait. About 0.9% had no idea about the causes of the disease. Treatment of the disease was mainly in the hospitals/clinics and herbalists homes. A few others consult and appease oracles, while a negligible proportion still use the old time honored method only. Over 92% of them kept their sores dry by refraining from immersing them in water. Despite all the efforts by various agencies concerned towards guinea worm eradication, Guinea worm is posing a trait to life of some people especially in rural areas. This study however discusses the results of some behavioral aspects in relation to their uses in the final nationwide campaign on dracunculiasis eradication.
Keywords: dracunculiasis, Guinea worm, perception, attitude, Nigeria
International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences Vol. 1(1) 2005: 46-52