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Poll suggests majority aware of Lassa fever

02 February 2016, 17:31Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - There is a high level of awareness on the Lassa fever disease among Nigerians.

This is according to findings of a new public opinion poll suggesting 81 percent of locals are aware.

According to NOIPolls, which conducted the poll, awareness is highest in the North-East zone of the country (89 percent), where the disease was first observed in the 1960s and where the current outbreak appears to have started.

Rat infected food stuff is commonly believed to be the main mode of transmission (93 percent);  while very few people mentioned the role of person-to-person transmission.

People identified fever (63 percent), mucosal bleeding (37 percent), vomiting (33 percent) and headache (12 percent) to be the symptoms of the disease.

Majority of the respondents indicated that they were willing to go to a public hospital for health care if affected by the disease (92 percent).

Also Read: Varsities employ cats to curb Lassa fever

Most also indicated that they will ensure that their environment is clean

(40 percent), as their primary strategy to avoid being affected by the virus.

A higher percentage of Nigerians expressed their confidence in their local hospital’s capacity to manage cases of Lassa Fever (70 percent) and most respondents were confident that the Ministry of Health was carrying out enough sentisization about the disease (83 percent).

NOIPolls said results were based on telephone interviews of a proportionate random nationwide sample, and conducted in the week commencing January 25.

Some 1 000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians adults aged 18 years and above, across the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages.

“With a sample of this size, we can say with 95 percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3 percent margin of error,” NOIPolls stated.

- CAJ News


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