LEVEL OF AWARENESS ON THE PREVENTION OF LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS AMONG RESIDENTS IN KWARA STATE
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PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON LEVEL OF AWARENESS ON THE PREVENTION OF LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS AMONG RESIDENTS IN KWARA STATE
1.1 Background of the study
Lymphatic filariasis (commonly known as elephantiasis) is a disease caused by parasites or worms (microfilariae) that weaken and disfigure a person. Disfigurement can be in the form of enlargement of the entire leg or arm, breasts and genitals. This happens when parasites attack the lymph nodes and lymph vessels that maintain the delicate balance between the tissues and blood-an important component for the body’s immune system. The thread-like worms, which can be between 4-12 cm long, live and mature as adults in the body’s lymph nodes and lymph vessels for 4-6 years. The adult worms breed other thread-like worms (microfilariae) that again can be transferred to another person by mosquito bites (Ogbulie and Nwosu, 2018).
In areas with low or moderate transmission of malaria, in those with advanced health services with well trained and experienced personnel, and in priority areas such as those with development projects, attempts may be made to reduce the prevalence of malaria by community-wide mosquito control measures. In areas subject to epidemic risk, quick-acting and timely vector control measures, such as insecticide spraying, play an important role in the control or prevention of epidemics. Apart from the input of health services in the planning and management of activities, it is also important for communities to participate in control efforts. Sufficient resources have to be ensured for the long-term maintenance of improvements obtained. In developed countries with advanced professional capabilities and sufficient resources, it is possible to aim at a countrywide eradication of malaria (WHO, 2016).
Eradication has been achieved in southern Europe, most Caribbean islands, the Maldives, large parts of the former USSR and the USA. As most anopheline mosquitos enter houses to bite and rest, malaria control programmes have focused primarily on the indoor application of residual insecticides to the walls and ceilings of houses. House spraying is still important in some tropical countries but in others its significance is diminishing because of a number of problems, which, in certain areas, have led to the interruption or termination of malaria control programmes. There has been increased interest in other control methods that would avoid some of the problems related to house spraying. Methods that are less costly and easier to organize, such as community-wide use of impregnated bednets, and methods that bring about longlasting or permanent improvements by eliminating breeding places are now being increasingly considered. However, the concerted control efforts by the government and international bodies not withstanding, lymphatic filariasis is still a disease of public health concern in Nigeria, with an estimated 106 million cases, placing the country as one with the highest prevalence in Africa (Okorie, Ogunmola, Ojurongbe, and Okoeguale, 2015).
1.2 Statement of the problem
In most rural areas undergoing ecological transformations, particularly as a result of dam construction and irrigation schemes, new breeding sites suitable for the proliferation of the mosquito vector are created. As a result of this, the transmission of lymphatic filariasis in such areas is expected to increase. Other contributory factors to the increase in lymphatic filariasis disease transmission include unplanned urbanization, overcrowding and deteriorating sanitary conditions.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of this study is to determine the level of awareness on the prevention of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State, with the following specific objectives of the study:
- To determine the level of awareness about the causes of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State
- To assess the level of awareness about the signs and symptoms of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara
- To determine the level of awareness on the prevention of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State
- To recommend measures on the prevention of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State
1.4 Research questions
- What are the causes of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State?
- What are the signs and symptoms of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara?
- What is the prevention of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State?
- What are the recommended measures on the prevention of lymphatic filariasis among residents in Kwara State?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study intends to present the results of a detailed investigation into people’s level of awareness in relation to the prevention of lymphatic filariasis. Since the study area is a reputable agrarian community, this study will provide much needed information on the impact of the disease on productivity and costs of lymphatic filariasis -related disability and the possible improvement in quality of life and potential productivity following different strategies to combat the disease. The findings will be relevant to those who intend to carry out a similar research topic as it has contributed to the existing literature. The research will serve as a fuel of new reasoning and further research work in lymphatic filariasis among adults, and to health workers, lecturers and the general public.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study covered the investigation into people’s level of awareness in relation to the prevention of lymphatic filariasis. This study was restricted to residents in Kwara State and questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection.