Nigeria was reported to have the highest prevalence of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in sub-Saharan Africa. Ignorance and poor illness concepts were reported as factors that made people reluctant to access drugs. This study evaluated the knowledge, perceptions, and attitude (KPA) of inhabitants of selected rural communities in Bende and Ikwuano Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Abia State, about LF. Simple random sampling technique (SRS) was used to select 300 respondents comprising 30 persons from each of the 10 communities (5 per LGA) and interviewed for the study. The majority (74.3%) of the respondents had good knowledge of LF and its symptoms. Many of the respondents reported that they had seen people with elephantiasis (90.6%) and hydrocoele (67.3%) in their communities. Interestingly, most of them are ignorant of the causative agent (66.8%) and the vector (68.6%). The majority of the respondents (53.8%) felt that traditional medicine was the best treatment for the disease. There is a relatively high awareness of LF in the area as suggested by the study. However, poor knowledge of the vector might jeopardize LF elimination programmes.
Keywords: Knowledge, Perception, Lymphatic filariasis, Bende, Ikwuano