Awareness and knowledge about diabetes mellitus and hypertension amongst adolescents in secondary schools, Oyo State, Nigeria – an interventional study by the SIDCAIN Research Group
AbstractBackground: Epidemic of obesity has propelled type 2 diabetes into an emerging health problem. Alongside hypertension, diabetes is now a foremost non communicable disease (NCD) in Nigeria. Aims & Objectives: This paper reports the outcome of school health club awareness program amongst school children in Oyo State. Methods: Health clubs were formed with the aim of making adolescents aware of NCDs, and their risk factors through health educational programs over a three year period (2010 – 2013). Data was obtained on awareness, knowledge, and traditional beliefs amongst club members and compared to responses from non-club members. SPSS version 17 was used for data analysis, and the level of statistical significance was set at (p<0.05). Results: A total of 894 respondents were recruited with 456 (51%) from 20 health clubs while 438 (49%) were non-members. Mean age was 15.67 years (± 1.25 years) with279 (31.2%) males.Obesity, family history of diabetes, decreased physical activity, and stress were adjudged to be risk factors for diabetes by 77.3%, 75.4%, 63.8% and 33.4% of the total respondents respectively. For hypertension, stress, family history of diabetes, obesity, decreased physical activity, and low consumption of vegetables were adjudged to be the risk factors by 83.3%, 64.1%, 63.1%, 57.2% and 50.3% of the respondents respectively. More health club members (95.0%) were aware of diabetes than non members (81.7%). Similar results obtained for hypertension (96.9% against 84.0% respectively).There was a wide gap between the knowledge of clubs members who received education and non members who did not, p<0.05 Conclusion: Knowledge plays an essential role in the early prevention, detection and future development of a disease. There is a need to expand educational activities on NCDs through viable policies and programmes in communities where risk factors are becoming highly prevalent even among young people. Keywords: Awareness, knowledge, diabetes, hypertension, adolescents
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