Human onchocerciasis still remains one of the public health problems in Africa despite the colossal resources committed by International organizations in combating its menace in the affected communities. The burden of the disease is intense mostly around the riverine areas where the Simulium vectors of the disease profusely breed. The proper knowledge of the communities on bioecology of the Simulium vectors is imperative towards planning the effective methods of breaking man-fly contact. As part of longitudinal studies on bioecology of black flies along Osun River, the present study utilized structured questionnaires and focus group discussions to assess the perception of the people on bioecology of black flies in three selected communities around the river. All the respondents at the three communities acknowledged that the blackflies bite in their communities but had poor knowledge of the breeding site of the flies as majority of the respondents at Osun Eleja and Osun Budepo (33 and 58%) claimed that the flies breed in tree-holes as compared with stagnant water and flowing river. Though, most of the respondents knew that black flies transmit disease, only 2, 5 and 11% of the respondents at Osun Budepo, Osun Eleja and Osun Ogbere respectively knew that black flies transmit onchocerciasis. The poor knowledge of the respondents on some aspects of bioecology of the flies poses threat to the effective control of onchocerciasis and black flies nuisance at the study communities. There is therefore need for proper health education in order to stem the risk of man-fly contact at the study area.
Key words: Black flies, perception, onchocerciasis, Osun River, Nigeria.
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