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
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
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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