This study assessed the knowledge of the role of blackfly in onchocerciasis transmission among the students and workers of a tertiary institution in Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria. One hundred and fifty (72 males, 78 females) volunteers were recruited for the study which occurred between July and September, 2009. Samples of the blackfly caught on the institution’s campus and preserved in a clean transparent unlabelled bottle containing 70% ethanol, and an unnamed coloured photograph of the fly were shown to the respondents each of which was guided to fill a carefully-structured questionnaire. 40% of the respondents correctly-identified the insect as blackfly. Among those that had spent ≥ 1 year, 95.1% (98/103) answered that the insect bites man. The commonest body reaction to blackfly bite was skin swelling (38.7%), followed by skin swelling + itching (P < 0.001). 3.3% of the total respondents answered correctly that the fly transmits the causative agent of onchocerciasis, while 96.7% (145/150) answered incorrectly or non-affirmatively (P < 0.001). This study showed the need to adequately educate the members of the tertiary institution on the vectorial role of blackfly, and study the population dynamics of the fly in the study area towards working out cost-effective control strategies.
Key words: Onchocerciasis, blackfly, knowledge, body reactions, health education.
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