African Journal of Gender and Women Studies

African Journal of Gender and Women Studies Vol. 5 (6), pp. 001-007, June, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Gender dimensions of knowledge, physical and psycho-social burden due to lymphatic filariasis in Benue State, Nigeria

Omudu, Edward Agbo1* and Okafor, Fabian Chukwuemenam2

1Department of Biological Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria.

2Department of Zoology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Accepted 15 November, 2019

Abstract

Understanding gender specific perceptions on lymphatic filariasis-related hydrocele and lymphoedema is critical to developing community health education materials. The study was aim at assessing villager’s knowledge and beliefs on the causes, transmission, prevention and socio-cultural issues on lymphatic filariasis using questionnaire survey method. Female respondents were more superstitious than their male counterparts with 30.0 and 43.9% of female respondents attributing the cause of the disease to walking long distance and stepping on charms respectively. While 46.1 and 41.9% of male respondents identified good hygiene and avoidance of mosquito bite as preventive options respectively, only 35.5 and 37.7% of their female counterparts thought likewise. These differences were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Women’s perspective on the matrimonial consequences of lymphatic filariasis also differed from their male counterparts. Women’s capacity to protect themselves and their family members is hindered by a lack of understanding of causes, symptoms, transmission routes and prevention of the disease. Our study justifies the need to seriously consider the role gender plays in the experience of tropical diseases and its interaction with physiological and socio-cultural factors.

Key words: Lymphatic filariasis, gender-related knowledge, perception, psycho-social implications.