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Angew Parasitol. 1992 Nov; 33(4): 205-10.

Behavioural aspects and their possible uses in the control of dracontiasis (guinea-worm) in Igwun river basin area of Imo State, Nigeria.

Nwoke BE.

Medical Entomology & Parasitology Unit, Imo State University, Okigwe, Nigeria.

Individuals suffering from dracontiasis from Igwun river basin area of Imo State Nigeria were randomly chosen, examined and interviewed between December 1988 and March 1989 with a view to ascertain some of the behavioural aspects that could be of help in the control/eradication of this disease as well as to ascertain whether local medication was of any chemotherapeutic significance. Of 100 guinea-worm patients males were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in number (63.0%). In the age-related distribution, children less than 10 years old and the members of the villages more than 60 years old accounted for only 5.0% of the patients whilst those in their productive years (10-60 year old) accounted for 95.0%. Only 10.5% of the respondents associated guinea-worm infection with the drinking of "polluted" water while most believed it was a familial trait (36.8%) or implicated their enemies (35.1%). As a result medications against the disease were mainly directed towards consulting the oracle and herbalists, and appeasing the gods. Most (98.0%) of them kept their dressing dry by refraining from immersing them in water. The concomitant behavioural aspects of these results are discussed in relation to their uses in the control/eradication of guinea-worm.

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