Knowledge about goitre among female school-going children in Wellega Province, Ethiopia
Background: About 30% of the world population is affected by Iodine Deficiency Disorder and Ethiopia is among the top ten countries in the world with severe iodine deficiency. The objective of this study was to explore the knowledge about goitre and preventive measures among female school children aimed at reducing the occurrence of goitre.
Methods: Quantitative, descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to explore the knowledge about goitre among school-going children in three schools in Wellega Province, Ethiopia. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse, organise and interpret the findings.
Results: A total of 364 girls aged between 15–19 years participated in the study. Overall, 71.4% did not have the knowledge about goitre, one third (28.6%) knew that goitre is caused by iodine deficiency and less than half (48.4%) knew that iodinated salt prevents occurrence of goitre. Sixty one per cent did not know which local foods aggravate goitre, 35.7% indicated that goitre affects both males and females and a small proportion identified pregnant women, children and adolescents as vulnerable groups for goitre. Only 38% received information about goitre from the schools.
Conclusion: The level of knowledge about goitre among school girls in Wellega Province is low. It is recommended that concerted efforts targeting adolescents to acquire knowledge about the causes and prevention of goitre should be made and further studies should be done to explore perceptions and cultural factors that may contribute to the knowledge gap.