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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-47

Effect of health education on knowledge and awareness of sickle cell disease among adolescents


1 Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics, Annunciation Specialist Hospital, Emene, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Osita U Ezenwosu
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla Campus, Enugu
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_9_20

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Introduction: Majority of Nigerians are not aware of their personal genotype, and the knowledge about sickle cell disease is quite low. We hypothesize that health education will improve the knowledge and awareness of sickle cell genotype among adolescents. This study aimed to determine the effect of health education on knowledge and awareness of sickle cell genotype among adolescents. Materials and Methods: Adolescent students of Federal Government College were recruited, and necessary data on sociodemography, knowledge, and awareness of sickle cell were obtained through a pretested sickle cell knowledge assessment questionnaire. Following health education, the same questionnaire was re-administered to the participants for assessment of any change in knowledge. Results: Majority (58.1%) of the respondents heard about sickle cell during lessons in class, while mass media was the next common source (16.5%) of knowledge and awareness. Following health education, there was an improvement in all the specific knowledge questions, especially the prevalence of sickle cell trait in Nigeria (28.1% vs. 75.2%) and the probability of carrier couple having a child with sickle cell anemia (SCA) (10.3% vs. 48.2%). There was a statistically significant increase in mean knowledge score (t = −14.203, P < 0.001), as well as a significant increase in high knowledge level (χ2 = 105.13, P < 0.001) after education. Conclusion: Health education improved the knowledge and awareness of sickle cell among adolescents in secondary schools, especially the chances of having children with SCA in carrier couples. Inculcating health education on sickle cell in secondary school curriculum will help in informed decision on marriage and birth, ultimately reducing the birth of children with SCA.


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