Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 565

Full Length Research Paper

Knowledge and risk factors for Lassa fever amongst students of Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria

Alenoghena Osi Innocent
  • Alenoghena Osi Innocent
  • Community Health Department, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria.
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Ehighalua Destiny
  • Ehighalua Destiny
  • Community Health Department, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria.
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Awunor Nyemike Simon
  • Awunor Nyemike Simon
  • Department of Community Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria.
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Yerumoh Sunday
  • Yerumoh Sunday
  • Primary Health Care Department, Egor Local Government Council, Edo State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 18 January 2021
  •  Accepted: 17 February 2021
  •  Published: 31 March 2021

Abstract

Lassa fever (LF) is an acute, viral hemorrhagic illness which is common in West Africa. Students of tertiary institutions are also exposed to risk factors. Hence, the study aimed to assess the knowledge and risk factors for Lassa fever amongst students of the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 240 undergraduate students of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria, between August and October, 2019. The participants included 240 respondents with mean age of 22.77±5.30 years, 147 (61.37%) females and 149 (62.1%) between 20-25 years. Most of the respondents 103(42.9%) were in their second year. Also, majority, 194 (80.8%) of them were aware of Lassa fever, but only 58 (29.6%) of them had knowledge of the disease. One hundred and thirty (67%) of them had high self-reported risk factors for LF. The most common risk factors for LF included: Poor hand-washing culture 176 (90.8%), inadequately covered food 175 (90.4%), lack of mouse proofs in places of residence 158 (81.3%) and bush burning 65 (33.8%). There was a statistically significant relationship between the age of respondents (p<0.001) and the knowledge of Lassa fever. From the study, more than four-fifth of the respondents were aware of LF, but only a third of them had knowledge of the disease. Thus, it can be seen that the common risk factors mentioned by the respondents cannot simply be glossed over. The State government and school authority should provide more risk communication messages through health workers and indigenous media.

Key words: Lassa fever, risk factors, knowledge, polytechnic, Auchi.