Rapid epidemiological assessment of onchocerciasis in a tropical semi-urban community, enugu state, Nigeria.
AbstractBackground: This study was carried out in Opi-Agu a tropical semi-urban autonomous community comprising of three villages in Enugu State, Nigeria, between the months of April and June 2010. It was designed to determine the prevalence of Onchocerca volvulus infection and assess the perception of the disease among the inhabitants of this community. Methods: A total number of 305 individuals comprising of 148 males and 157 females were ex-amined for various manifestations of onchocerciasis symptoms using rapid epidemiological assess-ment (REA) method. Results: Out of this number, 119 (39.02%) individuals were infected. Prevalence of infection among age groups and villages varied. Age group 41 yr and above had the highest (31.00%) prevalence, while among the villages, Ogbozalla village ranked higher (45.71%) than the other villages. Overall the prevalence of infection among the sexes revealed that males were more infected (43.24%) than the females (35.03%). Lichenified onchodermatitis (LOD) was the most prevalent (35.29%) onchocerciasis symptom among others identified in the area, while leopard skin (LS) had the lowest (20.17%) occurrence and blindness (0.00%) which is the most devastating effect of O. volvulus infec-tion was not observed. Questionnaire responses from 410 individuals revealed that 34.8% respon-dent from Idi village and 28.1% from Ibeku village believed that O. volvulus infection occurs through poor personal hygiene. Bite of blackfly ranked least (10.6%) among the respondent’s knowledge of the causes of onchocerciasis in Opi-Agu community. Conclusion: Opi-Agu community members had poor knowledge of onchocerciasis, the vector and of its etiologic organism. There is need for integration of community health education with mass chemotherapy.
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