Nigerian Journal of Parasitology

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Rapid epidemiological and socio-cultural appraisal of lymphatic filariasis amongst the Igede ethnic group in Benue State, Nigeria

E A Omadu, F C Okafor


This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis (LF) and investigate LF-related Knowledge, Attitude and Perception (KAP) amongst the Igede ethnic group of Benue State, Nigeria. The rapid immunochromatographic
card test (ICT) for detecting Wuchereria bancrofti circulating antigen and prevalence of hydrocoele and lymphoedema were used as epidemiological tools while questionnaires were used to investigate KAP. 43.2 % of screened participants tested positive for W. bancrofti circulating antigen by the ICT card test, there was no significant difference in infection rate between male and female participants (X2 = 9.17, df = 1, p 0.05). 7.9 % of the study population had clinical manifestations (hydrocoele and lymphoedema) of the disease. Participants who had hydrocoele and lymphoedema were more knowledgeable than unaffected ones (X2 = 4.01, df = 1, p, 0.05). the knowledge of the cause, mode of transmission and prevention of LF were highly influenced by socio-cultural and traditional norms. This study provides reliable estimates of the prevalence of the
disease and identified several areas of misconception and lack of knowledge on the etiology of LF. The implications of these findings were discussed and participatory community health education was suggested to encourage participation and sustainability of intervention activities.

Keywords: lymphatic filariasis, ICT diagnosis, community perception, Igede ethnic group.

Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 28 (2) 2007: pp. 118-124
AJOL African Journals Online