Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences

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Onchocerciasis in two communities in Oyo State, Nigeria

Omolade O Okwa


As far back as 1961, Onchocerciasis was reported in Oyo State. From past studies, the prevalence of Onchocerciasis was higher in males than females. Rapid assessment procedure is the current method of assessing communities for mass scale treatment. This method that identifies skin diseases due to Onchocerciasis could have some gender differences in communities where Onchocerciasis still constitute a public nuisance. Rapid assessment of Onchocerciasis was carried out in two communities in Ona-Ara local government area of Oyo state, Nigeria. The two villages with a population of 2500 adults of which 1,028 are women and 1472 are men indicated a prevalence of 53.72% for men and 31.6% for women. The overall prevalence being 56.88% indicating a {49.64%} mesoendemic status for these communities. Open group discussions with the villagers revealed that women were more concerned about their skin diseases than men. The men were more worried about their reduced productivity as farmers. These factors were identified as being positive factors that could facilitate future compliance to drugs. There was still poor knowledge and perception of the cause of Onchocerciasis as the people still held on to their old beliefs. Health education was carried out to change these beliefs. Women were mapped out as vehicles of social mobilization and treatment facilitators for ivermectin control programmes.

KEY WORDS: Onchocerciasis, rapid assessment procedure, and ivermectin.

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol.3(2) 2004: 89-92
AJOL African Journals Online