Social Aspects of Malaria among Students in Two Tertiary Institutions in Lagos, Nigeria
Studies were carried out on the social aspects of malaria among 600 students. Three hundred students (150 male, 150 females) were randomly selected from two tertiary institutions in Lagos, Nigeria. These schools are Lagos State University (LASU) and AOCOED (Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education). A structured questionnaire elicited relevant information on knowledge, perception and social aspects of malaria. Students aged 21-23, from faculty of arts and in their second year participated mostly in the study with no significant difference between the two schools. In LASU, 223(74.3%) and 211(70.3%) in AOCOED knew the cause of malaria (P>0.05). In LASU, 282(94%) and 192(64%) in AOCOED believed that malaria could be prevented (P<0.05). In LASU, 283(96%) and 283(94.3%) in AOCOED believed malaria could be treated (P>0.05). 109 (36.3%) respondents in LASU and 112(37.3%) in AOCOED thought that malaria was contagious (P>0.05). Fever was the most recognised symptom of malaria in both schools and self-medication was more popular in AOCOED. In LASU, 284(94.6%) and AOCOED, 273(91%) had malaria in the past one year (P>0.05). 146(48.7%) of the students who participated in LASU and 206(68.6%) in AOCOED had been admitted for malaria within the past one year (P<0.05). Class absenteeism and low academic performance were significantly higher in AOCOED than LASU. However, our results suggested that the LASU students were more informed about malaria than the AOCOED students because their knowledge and perception was better. The students, despite their academic backgrounds need intensified health education on malaria incorporated into their schools’ curriculum.
Keywords: Academic performance, Knowledge and perception, Malaria, Socioeconomic status, Students