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Knowledge and Attitude on Diabetes Mellitus among Residents of A Rural Community in Enugu State, Southeast, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Park Lane, Enugu, NIGERIA
  • 2Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Park Lane, Enugu, NIGERIA
  • 3Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Park Lane, Enugu, NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 4, Issue (1), Pages 1-7, January,28 (2016)

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus is a clinical syndrome characterized by hyperglycaemia due to deficiency of insulin. The usual symptoms are excessive passage of urine, excessive drinking of water, excessive eating and weight loss. The disease used to be more prevalent in developed countries, but has recently become a major disease of public health importance in underdeveloped countries including Nigeria. This study was of observational, cross-sectional design conducted in January 2015 in Egede, a rural community of Enugu state, Southeast, Nigeria; with the aim of assessing the knowledge and attitude on diabetes mellitus among rural dwellers. Majority of the respondents were over 50 years of age, and poorly educated. Information was elicited from 296 respondents, using interviewer administered pre-tested questionnaire. Overall knowledge of respondents on the nutritional cause of diabetes mellitus was 34.1%, symptoms of diabetes mellitus was 18.2%, risk factors was 19.0%, while complications was 19.5%. Less than 50% of respondents (30.7%) knew that diabetes mellitus can be prevented, while the same percentage also knew that diabetes mellitus is not curable (30.7%). Only 89(30.1%) of respondents knew that diabetes mellitus can be prevented by being careful with what one eats; 59(19.9%) were aware that regular exercise can prevent diabetes mellitus, while 88(29.7%) knew that diabetes mellitus can be prevented by regular blood sugar testing. This study revealed a huge knowledge gap on diabetes mellitus, and poor attitude towards diabetes mellitus prevention. Since knowledge is a very vital instrument for fighting diabetes mellitus, it is very important for the government and communities to work assiduously towards improving the knowledge of rural dwellers on diabetes mellitus. This will enhance their ability to prevent diabetes mellitus, by willingly adopting healthy life style and diet, among other attitudes, that will ensure that the high prevalence rate in urban communities does not extend to rural communities.

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