Local knowledge and perceptions on the transmission, treatment and prevention of loiasis in parts of Niger Delta Area of Imo State, Nigeria

  • UM Chukwuocha
  • CN Ukaga
  • INS Dizie
  • BEB Nwoke
  • CMU Ajaero
  • MI Nwachukwu

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge and perceptions on the transmission, treatment and prevention of loiasis was investigated in parts of the Niger Delta Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Data was obtained using pretested questionnaires, in-depth interviews and participant-observation techniques. Knowledge about the disease was based mainly on recognition of clinical manifestations (eye worm and calabar swelling). The males (58.2%) knew more about the disease than the females (41.8%). Respondents,60 years above (51%) had the most knowledge about the disease. Health workers (58.5%) had more knowledge of the disease among occupational groups. Only 2.8% of respondents attributed transmission of infection to the vector fly, chrysops species. The preferred methods of disease prevention included: maintenance of personal hygiene (18.5%) for eye worm and avoidance of insect bite (19.3%) for calabar swelling. Herbal therapy was mostly preferred for treating the disease manifestations. The results from this study suggests a need for the introduction of community education programmes aimed at creating awareness on the disease so as to ensure better control and preventive measures.
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