Article

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice about Rabies among Children Receiving Formal and Informal Education in Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria.

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. .
Global journal of health science 06/2012; 4(5):132-9. DOI: 10.5539/gjhs.v4n5p132
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Every year, about 50,000 people die of rabies of which about 55% of the mortalities occur in Asia and over 40% in Africa. Children are victims of up to 50% of these mortalities. The figure is alarming and immediate action is required to stop this scourge. This study was carried out to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice about rabies among children attending primary schools located in the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) premises and those outside the university as well as those receiving informal education. The participants for this study were children drawn by random selection from the schools chosen by purposive sampling. With the aid of questionnaires, information was obtained from a total of 477 children with 400 from formal educational settings among 3 schools, and 77 from quaranic schools (almajiris) in the informal setting. More children receiving formal education were aware about the disease (50.8%) than those receiving informal education (32.5%), likewise those residing within ABU quarters (71%) were better informed than those residing outside ABU quarters (43.3%). Among children in the formal schools, 25.9% obtained information from friends and at school (25.9%), while in the informal setting, 56% obtained information from friends and only 16% from school. With regards to attitude and practice, 75.5% of children receiving formal education came from homes where dogs were vaccinated against rabies and 23.3% of them play with dogs they know, while 11.1% of those receiving informal education vaccinate their dogs and fewer of them (14.3%) play with dogs known to them. Many children (65.7%) of those in formal schools know the role of dogs in rabies transmission, compared to only 8% in the informal schools. However, only 9.7% of children in formal schools associate both signs of furious and dumb form of rabies with the disease, compared with 28% in informal schools. Among children bitten by dogs, 87.5% of those receiving informal education received hospital treatment compared to 63.7% of those going to formal schools. About 13% in each of the two categories received traditional treatment. It is, therefore, important for children to be properly educated about rabies so that they can avoid dogs, recognise potential exposures, report to a responsible adult and pass on the knowledge to their peers.

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