Science Target Conference Systems, Ajman 4th International Environment Conference 2016

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Environmental influence of river-blindness in North-Eastern States in Nigeria
OYINLOLA Oluwagbemiga

Last modified: 2016-08-19


River-blindness is a widespread disease in the country predominantly among in the rain forest savannah mosaic area and has claimed the vision and skin of several residents in the streams or river areas as a result of similium blackflies. The study examined the perceived environmental effect of river-blindness in North-Eastern States of Nigeria.Cluster random sampling was used to select 1621 respondents for the study from three States in the North-East Nigeria during the free medical outreach conducted by Sound Health Development Initiative. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to the respondents.Statistical analysis included the descriptive statistics (Mean and Standard Deviation) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).The result revealed that, river-blindness (Onchocerciasis) was a locally known illness in the study area with about 91.4%. Less than half of the respondents revealed that, the disease is caused by gods of the river while 18.6% of the respondents attributed the disease to blackfly bites from the river. More half of the respondents perceived that the disease is caused by the white that came into the State centuries ago. The environment had a significant effect on the prevalence of river-blindness disease in the study area (f-ratio= 286.114; f-cal= 2.32, p=0.05).There are deep rooted environmental convictions which are known to have a great effect on the level of compliance to and there success of the treatment of river-blindness in Nigeria and west-African sub-region.Thus, intensifying community-directed treatment to scale-up intervention programmes with adequate information transfer in simple local dialect by trained environmental health personnel at communities