Knowledge and attitude of secondary school students in Jos, Nigeria on sickle cell disease
Introduction: Knowledge about sickle cell disease among youths could constitute an important variable that influences their premarital attitude and behaviour. The study is to determine the knowledge and attitude on Sickle Cell Disease among selected secondary school students in Jos metropolis, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study involving 137 Secondary School Students within Jos metropolis selected by a multistage stratified sampling technique, using self administered structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17.
Results: A total of 137 students were interviewed, Christians 88%, modal age range 15-20 years (72%) and males (51%). Majority (83.2%) of the respondents were aware of SCDs, as an inherited disorder (80.0%), affecting the red blood cells (83.0%) but only half (54%) knew that the disease can only be diagnosed through blood test. Also, only 59% knew their genotype and 11. 1% claimed AS genotype. More than one fourth (25.5%) had wrong belief that SCD is caused by evil spirit while 76% showed wrong attitude involving stigmatization towards individuals with sickle cell disease.
Conclusion: Comprehensive knowledge about SCD was found to be low despite good awareness among respondents, but only few knew their haemoglobin genotype. If sickle cell disease control strategies must yield any significant results, there is a need to raise awareness about SCD, especially among students in secondary institutions in Nigeria is recommended.
Key words: Sickle cell disease, knowledge, attitude, genotype