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Community Participation in the Control of Parasitic Diseases: The Case of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area

By Animal Research International, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Summary

ABSTRACT:
A study on the epidemiology and effects of human onchocerciasis on productivity and social lives of rural communities in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State was carried out between 1998 and 2000. The objectives of the study were to assess the level of endemicity of onchocerciasis in the 16 communities that make up the local government area and to ascertain the effects of the disease on the pattern of social interactions and the age of marriage of the infected individuals. The work also involved the local disease perception and treatment of the disease in the area and histopathological studies of the Onchocerca nodules. In the course of the studies, interviews were conducted for individuals and various groups in the communities including the Community Directed Distributors (CDDs) of ivermectin in the area. During these interactions, a number of problems that beset the control of onchocerciasis in the area became obvious. This paper reports on the community participation in the control of the disease, the problems encountered by these rural people in their efforts (which include lack of funds, late arrival of drugs, transportation and communication problems) and makes recommendations on how to overcome some of these problems.
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