Journal of
Parasitology and Vector Biology

  • Abbreviation: J. Parasitol. Vector Biol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2510
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPVB
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 202

Full Length Research Paper

Using health education intervention to improve knowledge and practice of prevention of avian influenza among bird handlers in Sokoto, Nigeria

M. O. Oche1, A. U. Junaidu2, A. S. Mainasara3* and M. A. Ndakotsu3
1Department of Community Health, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. 2Department of Veterinary Public Health, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. 3Department of Pathology/Microbiology, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 September 2013
  •  Published: 30 September 2013


Zoonotic diseases are under-reported in most parts of the world particularly in developing countries. Approximately 75% of emerging diseases are zoonotic which include avian influenza (AI), Lassa fever and toxoplasmosis. The persistence and spread of avian/fatal avian influenza A (A/H5NI) in poultry and people in Asia, Europe and Africa has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to state that the world is now in a pandemic alert phase. For these reasons, an integrated and cross-sectorial plan was needed which ensures that Nigeria was prepared to address both the causes and consequences of avian and human influenza pandemic. This study was conducted to assess the impact of educational intervention on the knowledge and practice of prevention of AI among bird handlers in Sokoto. A total of 100 male bird handlers in Sokoto metropolis were enrolled for the quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-intervention components in the same group. A set of comprehensive and pre-tested questionnaire was administered to the respondents for information on the socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and practices regarding AI. The pre-intervention phases involved the application of the questionnaires to the respondents. The intervention measures instituted included health education on causes of AI, clinical features, communicability, prevention, morbidity/mortality patterns and a demonstration session. One month after the intervention, the same set of questionnaires were administered to the study subjects. Scores obtained for knowledge were subsequently graded as adequate (≥50%) and inadequate (<50%). At baseline, 51% of the respondents scored ≥50% with a mean knowledge score of 64±7.0, while at post-intervention, 86% of the respondents scored ≥50% with a mean knowledge score of 91±17.64 (p<0.0001). The commonest form of protection adopted by the study subjects was the use of protective clothing, including face masks.


Key words: Avian influenza, bird handlers, health education, preventive measures.