THE IMPLICATIONS OF ONCHOCERCIASIS ON THE HEALTH CONDITIONS AND SOCIOECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN OJI RIVER L.G.A OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA.

AUTHOR: ONYEBUEKE CHARITY CHEKWUBECHUKWU

DEPARTMENT:ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA.

This study was carried out to determine the implications of Onchocerciasis on the health conditions and socio-economic activities in Oji River LG.A. The type of data used to obtain the information were questionnaires. Data was analyzed using chi-square, frequency distribution and percentages. Chi-square test and analysis of variance test were used to test the hypotheses. The study reveals that ochocerciasis is endemic in Oji River L.G.A and its incidence level is high. The level of incidence varies in different village, occupation income and educational levels. The intensity of the infectious bites of the vector and occupational group mostly affected are the farmers because of the nearness of the houses of most of the farmers to streams and water bodies. The pathological effects of onchocerciasis include visual impairment, rashes, palpable nodules, leopards skins, groins and blindness. There is no significant difference in the incidence of onchocerciasis in the two communities of the study area. Onchocerciasis infection is not related to income, education, health and occupation of the inhabitants. The work recommends that a long term planning programme involving the distribution of anti-parasitic drugs and nodulectomy should be adopted by the government for the effective control of the onchocerciasis in the area. Farmlands close to the identified breeding sites need to be left uncultivated until measures are taken to flush out parasite from the breeding sites.

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