PREVALENCE OF RABIES IN SLAUGTHERED DOGS AND KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF RESIDENTS OF ABUJA MUNICIPAL AREA COUNCIL OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, NIGERIA TOWARDS RABIES

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PREVALENCE OF RABIES IN SLAUGTHERED DOGS AND KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF RESIDENTS OF ABUJA MUNICIPAL AREA COUNCIL OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, NIGERIA TOWARDS RABIES

Abstract:

Rabies is a fatal encephalitis caused by a lyssavirus. It is endemic in Nigeria and dog is the main reservoir of this disease of public health significance. A cross sectional study was carried out in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory to assess the prevalence and knowledge of rabies in this area. The objectives were to determine the prevalence of rabies in slaughtered dogs, determine the knowledge of rabies, determine attitude and health seeking behavior, determine practices and good dog ownership behavior and compare these indices between dog and non dog owners among residents. Two hundred and twenty four structured questionnaires were administered to residents of Gwarinpa, Life Camp and Asokoro of the Federal Capital Territory by random and systemic sampling techniques. In addition, 150 dog brain samples were collected from apparently healthy dogs and checked for the presence of rabies antigen using fluorescent antibody test. Approximately 55% of respondents were dog owners. All (100%) were aware of the mode of transmission of rabies, the dog as the reservoir, the fatal nature of rabies and prevention by vaccination. Some (54%) believed that rabies could be cured after symptoms appeared. About 87% knew where to get vaccination for dogs, 87% would seek medical treatment from the hospital when bitten by a dog but only 36.7% knew that washing wound with soap and water was a good first aid practice in a case of dog bite. Among dog owners, 65% would restrict their dogs in kennels with minimal movement within the compound and 94% had vaccinated their dog against rabies and other preventable diseases. Dog owners (52%) were more annoyed by the presence of a stray dog than non dog owners. Out of the 150 samples analyzed for rabies antigen, 12% was positive. Positivity to rabies antigen was neither associated with sex nor location of slaughtered dogs. The level of awareness of rabies and responsible dog ownership were high. Dog owners were more tuned to reporting a case of dog xvii bite than non-dog owners. Production of informative materials on rabies to sustain the awareness should be carried out. The role that can be played by slaughtered dogs in spread of rabies should be investigated and residence should be enlightened on the role of stray dogs in spreading rabies. Key Words: Prevalence, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Rabies antigen.

PREVALENCE OF RABIES IN SLAUGTHERED DOGS AND KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF RESIDENTS OF ABUJA MUNICIPAL AREA COUNCIL OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, NIGERIA TOWARDS RABIES

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