Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals
Open Access

ISSN: 1948-5964

+44 1300 500008


Awareness, Knowledge and Misconceptions about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in a Family Practice Setting in Nigeria, West Africa

Rasaki O Shittu, Musa A Sanni, Louis O Odeigah, Akanbi II AA, Abdullateef G Sule, Salamat Isiaka-Lawal and Aderibigbe SA

Background: An epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), perhaps the most ravaging epidemic in contemporary history is on-going in certain West Africa Countries with significant mortality. Although the WHO’s representative in Nigeria officially declared Nigeria Ebola free on 20th October 2014, comprehensive knowledge of EVD is generally low in Nigeria with associated paucity of data on the subject matter, hence the objective of this research was to assess the awareness, knowledge and misconceptions about EVD in Nigeria. Methods: This was a hospital based, cross sectional, descriptive study of four hundred respondents who attended the Kwara State specialist hospital, Sobi, Ilorin, Nigeria, West Africa from 1st October, 2014-1st December, 2014. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographics, awareness, knowledge and misconceptions among the respondents. Results: The minimum age of the respondents was 20 years while the maximum was 80 years. The mean age was 43.3150 ± 17.11133. There were more female 344 (86.0%) than male 56 (14.0%). Majority were married 264 (66.0%). One hundred and nineteen (29.8%) had primary education, 171 (42.8%) secondary while 82 (20.5%) were without formal education. They were predominantly Muslim 288 (72%) and of Yoruba extraction 358 (89.5%). Majority were traders 131 (32.8%) only (14.0%) were students. Although 370 (92.5%) had heard of EVD, only 16 (4.0%) knew the number to call when EVD was suspected. In addition, One hundred and fifty six (39.0%) had poor knowledge of EVD, 102 (25.5%) had a fair knowledge, while 142 (35.5%) had good knowledge. Eighty eight (22.0%) thought EVD was curable. Three hundred and twelve (78.0%) knew that neither drug nor vaccine is currently available. Twenty six (6.5%) of the 88 (22.0%) who thought that EVD was curable believed that traditional medication could cure EVD. The major source of information was through the radio 313 (78.2%) followed by 37 (9.3%) from neighbours. Health workers constituted only 32 (8.0%). One hundred and fifty eight (39.5%) believed that EVD was air borne, 32 (8.0%) through mosquito bites, 26 (6.5%) by bacteria. Eighty nine (22.2%) had the right knowledge of EVD being of viral origin. Seventy nine (19.8%), 76 (19.0%), 53 (13.2%) believed that traditional healers, spiritual healers and bathing with salt and hot water respectively could treat EVD successfully. Conclusion: In Nigeria, EVD awareness is high, but comprehensive knowledge of EVD is generally low with serious misconceptions. Radio is by far the preferred means for receiving information about EVD.