A Survey of Knowledge, Attitude and Perception of Cockroach Infestation and Its Public Health implications in Makurdi, Nigeria.

OMUDU, E. A. AND EYUMAH, A. O.

ABSTRACT: The willingness to participate in cockroach control activities is said to be dependent on individual and community’s perception of the importance of cockroach infestation. Quantitative questionnaire and ranking exercise were used to determine respondents’
knowledge, perception and attitude to cockroach infestation in Makurdi, Nigeria, between Mar. and Jun. 2006. Two hundred and thirty four household heads comprising 128 (54.7%) males, 106 (45.3%) females, 80 (34.2%) civil servants, 67 (28.6%) business men and women, 57 (24.4%) farmers, and 30 (12.8%) students participated. Two hundred and six (88.0%) of the respondents reported seeing cockroaches in their houses; 98 (41.9%) considered cockroach infestation in
their apartments to be low, 90 (38.6%) and 48 (20.5%) rated cockroach infestation in their apartments as moderate and high, respectively. Eighty-two (35.0%) respondents considered cockroach infestation to be a potential health risk, 92 (39.3%) did not associate cockroach infestation with any health problem, and 60 (25.6%) were not sure that cockroaches transmit
diseases. There was no significant gender difference in perception of the health risk associated with cockroach infestation (t= 0.14, df’= 1, P>0.05). Cockroach was ranked fourth amongst the five household pc . red and 136 (58.1 %) of the respondents controlled cockroach infestation manually. While \ 75.2%) of the respondents reported that they felt embarrassed when visitors saw cockroaches in their homes, 58 (24.8%) said they were not embarrassed. The study revealed that the vector competence of cockroach was grossly underrated and consequently the risk of contracting cockroach-borne infections is high. There is need for further entomological investigations and community health education on health hazard associated with cockroach
infestation.

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