Detailed Study on Age Related Pattern of Awareness and Basic Knowledge on Zika Virus Disease among Women Visiting Children Immunization Unit in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Southeast Nigeria

Background: The Zika virus, which re-emerged in 2015, is an infectious agent of considerable public health significance. In certain infants of infected mothers, it is spread by mosquito bite, and is associated with microcephaly and some other neurological malformations. In the past, mild infections with this virus have been reported in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific region, but it re-emerged in Brazil as a disease of real public health significance in 2015. On February 1, 2016, WHO declared Zika virus outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” but in November of the same year, the emergency declaration was lifted.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the age-related trend of Zika virus infection awareness and basic knowledge among women bringing children for immunization at a teaching hospital in southeastern Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: The research was performed between November 2016 and February 2017 in the Immunization unit of a Teaching Hospital, Southeast Nigeria. It was a cross-sectional, quantitative, empirical, descriptive study involving randomly chosen 256 women who brought children for immunization. The pre-tested, interviewer-administered, standardized questionnaire was used; the data was analyzed for windows using SPSS version 20.0.

Results: The largest number of respondents [112 (43.8 percent)] was between the ages of 30 and 39, followed by those between the ages of 20 and 29 [108(42.2 percent)]. Up to 38.3% of respondents had never heard of Zika virus, but compared to the 61.7% who were aware of Zika virus disease (P = 0.92), this was not statistically important. The highest number of people listened to it on TV[57(36.1%)]. Overall, respondents between the ages of 20 and 29 years reported an average percentage of basic information of 54.6 percent, while those between the ages of 30 and 39 years reported 49.8 percent.

Conclusions: Many respondents had never heard of the Zika virus before, and many also had low basic knowledge of Zika virus disease. Only those within the age range of 20 to 29 registered a mean percentage basic knowledge score of over 50.0 percent among respondents within the child bearing age group (54.6 percent ). Therefore, good strategies to address these gaps in awareness and knowledge among women of childbearing age who are mostly affected by Zika virus disease should be created.

Author(s) Details

Edmund O. Ndibuagu
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria and Esucom Health Care Delivery Research Initiative, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria.

Innocent I. Okafor
Esucom Health Care Delivery Research Initiative, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria.

Sussan U. Arinze-Onyia
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria and Esucom Health Care Delivery Research Initiative, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria.

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