ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE OF ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION AMONG HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS IN A SOUTHEASTERN STATE OF NIGERIA
Objective: Zika virus infection is fast becoming a major public health concern in both developed and developing countries of the world because of its association with microcephaly and Guillain Barre Syndrome. Assessment of its knowledge and understanding among different healthcare practitioners are essential for prevention and control especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. Our aim was to assess the knowledge of the virus and its associated factors among healthcare professionals (HCPs).
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from June 10 to August 28, 2016, among health care professionals who were selected by non-probability convenience sampling technique. The respondents were selected from various practice settings including academic institution, private and government hospitals in Enugu State, Nigeria. A validated and pilot tested 15 item questionnaire was used to evaluate respondentsâ€™ knowledge of ZIKV infection. Descriptive statistics and chi-square were used to analyze respondentsâ€™ level of knowledge and its associated factors using SPSS version 16.
Results: Two hundred (200) respondents participated in this study with more than half (53.0%) being male, and most were either Physician or Pharmacist (59.5%). Our results also showed that most of the respondents (128, 64.0%) had poor knowledge of ZIKV infection. However, among the respondents assessed, the Pharmacists and the Physicians had better knowledge of the disease as the test statistics were statistically significant at X2=16.722, p=0.033. HCPs in the academia had better knowledge compared to those that are self-employed or practicing in private or government hospitals (X2=17.178, p=0.028).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that most of the HCPs assessed in this study had poor knowledge of ZIKV infection. However, professional status, place of service, and study site were found to be associated with the respondentsâ€™ level of knowledge. Hence, through sensitization and awareness campaigns through the media, seminars, and workshops aimed at educating HCPs on the disease should be encouraged.
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