Knowledge and attitude towards onchocerciasis and community directed treatment with ivermectin in endemic communities in Edo State, Nigeria.
Objective: Community directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) was developed as a solution for the control and elimination of onchocerciasisis. It involves active and structural community participation. CDTI requires that ivermectin be administered continuously over a period of at least 14years before elimination can be achieved in hyper and meso-endemic communities. The study assessed the knowledge and attitude of community's members towards onchocerciasis and the CDTI strategy in endemic communities in Edo State, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving seven hundred and twenty community members' selected using multistage sampling technique. Data was collected using a pre-tested structured interviewers' administered questionnaire and was analysed using IBM SPSS version 21.0 software. Level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05
Results: The mean age (SD) of respondents was 45.9 (15.2) years. Six hundred and one (83.5%) and 591 (82.1%) of the respondents had good knowledge of onchocerciasis and CDTI strategy respectively. The significant predictors of good knowledge on onchocerciasis were age (p = 0.001), sex (p = 0.001) and level of education (p = 0.001) while that of CDTI strategy were sex (p = 0.001) and level of education (p = 0.001). Five hundred and ninety seven (82.9%) of the respondents had a good attitude towards the CDTI strategy and its significant predictor was level of education (p = 0.006)
Conclusion: Findings from this study revealed that there are still gaps in knowledge as regards onchocerciasis and the CDTI strategy among community members in the study area. Re-enforcement of health education messages on onchocerciasis and CDTI strategy in endemic areas is recommended so as to improve knowledge and consequent acceptance of the CDTI strategy.
Keywords: Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin, Onchocerciasis. Knowledge, Attitude, Nigeria.