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Lymphatic Filariasis and Malaria Awareness amongst Residents of Port Harcourt Metropolis

A study to determine the knowledge, attitude and perception of malaria and lymphatic filariasis amongst the residents of Port Harcourt metropolis was conducted by administering structured questionnaires randomly to 300 hundred respondents in Port Harcourt metropolis. Questionnaires were handed out to (100) one hundred respondents resident in the three Local Government Areas (LGA) that constitute Port Harcourt metropolis; Eleme, Obio/Akpor, Port-Harcourt. The study showed that respondents between the ages of 21-30 years had the highest response to the questionnaires. On regional basis; Eleme LGA had an overall compliance of 33.5% for malaria and 33.0% for lymphatic filariasis, Obio/Akpor LGA recorded a compliance of 25.9% for malaria and 37.3% for lymphatic filariasis while Port Harcourt LGA had a compliance level of 40.4% for malaria and 29.5% for lymphatic filariasis in the study. Data also showed that a total of 33.6% respondents were aware of malaria, 5(1.6%) were aware of lymphatic filariasis while 63.6% of the respondents were aware of both malaria and lymphatic filariasis in the study. However, 64.5% of the respondents correctly indicated mosquito as the vector of the diseases, 10.8% and 8.0% believed that food poisoning and stepping on charms respectively were responsible for the morbidities. Female respondents were more compliant than males in the study. The study discovered that misconceptions about lymphatic filariasis were due to inadequate knowledge, superstitious beliefs and traditional practices employed by Port Harcourt resident in the study. The result also showed that the socio-economic status of the residents did affect their knowledge about the diseases. The study recommends health education as a strategy of controlling the prevalence of both endemic diseases in the country.

Author(s): Sidney O Nzeako

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