Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-111

Awareness, knowledge, and misconceptions of Ebola virus disease among residents of a rural community in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria

1 Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, Research and Metrics Advisor, Evidence to Action, Washington, DC, USA
5 Department of Medical Services and Public Health, Sokoto State Ministry of Health, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Aminu U Kaoje
Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University (UDU), Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.177378

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Background: Since the discovery of Ebola in 1967, many localized outbreaks have occurred but the recent cross-border epidemic was fueled by the high level of illiteracy and some bad cultural practices. Aim: To assess the awareness, knowledge, and misconceptions of Ebola among residents of a rural community in Sokoto State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. The study was conducted in a rural community and the participants were selected using the systematic sampling method. The data were analyzed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. Skewed quantitative variables were summarized using median and categorical variables using frequencies and percentages. Chi-square test was performed to assess the relationship between outcome variables (knowledge of Ebola) and respondents' sociodemographic characteristics. Binary logistic regression analysis was also performed to identify the predictors of outcome variable. Results: Respondents' median age was 30 years and nearly half of the respondents (49%) had no formal education. A large proportion (88%) of the respondents was aware of Ebola and radio was their major source of information. Residents' knowledge of Ebola was low and only 13% had good knowledge. Eating bitter kola, bathing with salt water, and drinking salt water were mentioned as methods of preventing the spread of the disease. Of their socio-demographic characteristics, only the educational level attained did predict their knowledge of Ebola. Respondents without formal education [odds ratio (OR) = 0.198, P < 0.02] and secondary education (OR = 0.292, P < 0.01) were more likely to have poor knowledge. Conclusion: Although the majority was aware of Ebola, their knowledge about it was very low and misconceptions and misinformation were still not uncommon. There is a need for continuous public education and enlightenment about Ebola.

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