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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 124-128

Knowledge, attitude and practice towards prevention and control of lassa fever among health workers and residents in Asaba, Delta State of Nigeria

1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Impact Research Centre, 10 Chiagoziem Street, Asaba, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria
3 Public Health Impact Research Centre, Delta, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mininim Ibiere Oseji
Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Impact Research Centre, 10 Chiagoziem Street, Asaba
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmwa.jmwa_19_21

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BACKGROUND: Nigeria has experienced repeated outbreaks of Lassa fever over the years, with cases reported in Asaba, Delta State as well. A number of measures to prevent and control the spread of Lassa fever in Delta State have been carried out. This study was conducted to determine the knowledge, attitude and practices of health workers and residents in Asaba towards the prevention and control of Lassa fever, particularly after prevention and control measures had been instituted. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted among health workers and residents in Asaba. Self-administered questionnaires were used as the instrument of the study. All collected data were cleaned, sorted and entered into the spreadsheet of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 for analysis. RESULTS: A total of 400 completed questionnaires were retrieved, with 63.5% of respondents being females and 36.5% males. About 85.5% of respondents were aware that rats were the vectors of Lassa fever, but only 10.3% knew that ribavirin was the drug of choice for treatment of the condition. Bagging of waste at home was carried out by 64.3% of the study population, while 55.7% did that at work. As much as 21.5% of the subjects claimed they had been bitten by a rat, while 76% said they soak and drink garri. As much as 41.9% of health workers indicated they would not know what to do if they came in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of Lassa fever, and only 19.3% said they used personal protective equipment at work. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that practices of health workers and residents in Asaba put many of them at high risk of contracting Lassa fever. RECOMMENDATION: Stricter enforcement of control measures on a long-term basis is required to achieve positive behaviour change with regard to prevention and control of Lassa fever.

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