South African Family Practice

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Knowledge of Zika virus disease among reproductive-age women attending a general outpatient clinic in Northern Nigeria

G.C. Michael, I Aliyu, B.A. Grema, A.O. Ashimi


Background: Nigeria is not insulated from the global threat of Zika virus disease (ZVD) because of international travel and the presence of Zika-virus-carrying mosquitoes in the country. A paucity of studies exists concerning knowledge of ZVD among atrisk populations. Thus, the necessity for assessment of knowledge of ZVD among reproductive-age women in general outpatient setting.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 377 reproductive-age women attending a Nigerian tertiary hospital’s general outpatient clinic. Their knowledge of ZVD was assessed using a structured questionnaire. A chi-square test was used to assess the relationship between participants’ sociodemographics and ZVD knowledge.

Results: The participants’ median age was 27.0 ± 7.19 years. Though 68.97% of participants were aware of ZVD, only 23.85% of those had good knowledge of ZVD. Their median knowledge score was 57.14%. Participants’ age (< 27 years) (p = 0.00399), tribe (Hausa) (p = 0.0174) and monogamous family type (p = 0.0108) were associated with good knowledge of ZVD. Only 5% knew that ZVD is transmitted through both mosquito bites and a sexual route. Some 80% were unaware that everybody was at risk of ZVD but 80.77% knew it could cause microcephaly. Insecticide-treated nets (80.77%), environmental sanitation (78.08%) and indoor insecticide spraying (58.85%) were preventive measures reported by most participants; a minority reported mosquito repellents (28.46%), wearing of protective clothing (36.15%), and traditional medicines (20.00%) as preventive measures. They lacked knowledge of prevention of sexual transmission.

Conclusion: Participants’ knowledge of ZVD was inadequate despite the high awareness rate. Stakeholders may need to address existing knowledge gaps through effective public enlightenment.

Keywords: knowledge, Nigeria, outpatients, reproductive-age women, Zika virus
AJOL African Journals Online