Prevalence of schistosomiasis in south-west Nigeria, a call for action
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects over 200 million people worldwide, particularly in low-income countries. It is endemic to Nigeria, with the highest prevalence in the southwestern region, recent studies show. The purpose of this study is to examine the public knowledge in the six southwestern states of Nigeria on schistosomiasis etiology, transmission, pathology, risk factors and prevention in order to create awareness for public health interventions. An online questionnaire with 13 epidemiologically-oriented questions was distributed in six states - Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo - to assess the current state of knowledge on schistosomiasis dynamics. The retrieved data was sorted, analyzed and visualized using IBM SPSS and Microsoft Excel. The results of the analysis were compared to previous publications on the incidence of schistosomiasis in Nigeria. This study shows that a large percentage of the population lacks basic knowledge about schistosomiasis and the informed population tends towards those in scientific disciplines. Our results underscore the need to raise public awareness of schistosomiasis prevention and control. To achieve this, we recommend that the government formulates and implements appropriate public awareness strategies. In addition, educational institutions should include teaching on schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases as part of general studies.
Steps to reproduce
The team met to discuss the prevalence of schistosomiasis in south-west Nigeria. Questionnaires were then distributed to students (scientists, non-scientists, medical, veterinary, social scientists), animal breeders, medical practitioners, and other professionals to understand how well they understood about schistosomiasis. The data from this population sample study were then analyzed and the result compared with previous publications on the prevalence of schistosomiasis especially in states where they are mostly prevalent.