Conference abstract

Knowledge, perception and practices regarding lassa fever during an outbreak in Lagos State, Nigeria, 2016

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(45).05 Dec 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.45.627

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Knowledge, Lassa fever, outbreak, Nigeria
Opening ceremony

Knowledge, perception and practices regarding lassa fever during an outbreak in Lagos State, Nigeria, 2016

Hakeem Abiola Yusuff1,&, Oyeladun Okunromade1, Bisola Adebayo1, Hakeem Bisiriyu1, Abiodun Agbalaya1, Nurain Ayeola1, Hameed Obani1, Mureen Anyanwu1, Ugochukwu Osigwe1, Folasade Osundina1, Stephen Adebowale2, Patrick Nguku1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, college of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Hakeem Yusuff, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract

Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is a public health problem in Nigeria. During the Lassa fever outbreak in Lagos State in 2016, several people had contact with the four confirmed cases. Unfortunately, there is dearth of information on knowledge and preparedness towards preventive measures on LF in Lagos State. We assessed the public’s knowledge and preparedness towards preventing the re-occurrence of the disease.

Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional study in which we selected 632 respondents through multi-stage sampling technique. We collected data on their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of Lassa fever, attitude and perception of Lassa, practices and source of information regarding Lassa fever. Knowledge, attitudes and practices were the dependent variables used and were measured using list of items on scales. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square model (α = 0.05).

Results: mean age of respondents was 36 ± 11.3 years, 51.0% were females, 91.1% had heard about Lassa fever, and 76.7% correctly identified the causative agent as a virus. Twenty-seven percent knew there is a specific drug for treatment of LF while 56.8% possessed poor general knowledge. Fifty-five percent perceived Lassa fever as a public health problem while 55% believed they were at risk of contracting the disease. Overall, 99% would seek appropriate care. Television (94.5%) and radio (73.2%) were the most common sources of information on LF. Being female respondents and possessing at most secondary education were significantly associated with poor general knowledge; (OR = 1.4, p = 0.03) and (OR = 2.4, p < 0.01) respectively.

Conclusion: perception about LF and health seeking behavior on symptoms was good but knowledge on LF is poor. Health education to improve knowledge of LF is necessary and this we supported in strengthening in Lagos State by conducting health education in the communities and major markets.