BACKGROUND: Knowledge and attitude are significant factors impinging on whether individuals seek healthcare service. This flows on to impact public health knowledge of prevalence of diseases, and in turn, the practice of preventive medicine. As part of the international research collaboration agenda for Prediabetes and Cardiovascular Complications Study, a preliminary survey of one of the Ndokwa communities of Nigeria has been carried out.
AIM: This study was to understand the baseline knowledge, attitudes and practices of a rural community in regards to cardiovascular diseases, and behavior toward risk management.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-four volunteer participants were recruited, after public lectures, through secondary school and churches in the community. The survey was done using questionnaire. The knowledge component comprised questions about educational and personal health opinion. The attitude and practice components comprised questions about exercises and visiting healthcare facilities. Occupational backgrounds were also asked.
RESULTS: It is observed that majority of the community dwellers have (1) completed at least secondary education, (2) never attended a health check-up; and (3) do not engage in physical activity in the context of exercise. Twenty of the participants indicated not being in good health, of which only 35% have attended medical check-up for their ailment. Many of those who are yet to seek healthcare service cite affordability as their reason. With specific regards to diabetes and cardiovascular risk, over 71% of the survey participants are yet to do any blood sugar and/or lipid profile tests.
CONCLUSION: This preliminary survey indicates that although the majority of respondents have secondary education and therefore are relatively literate, there is a gap between their knowledge of ill-health versus attitude and practice toward prevention; especially cardiovascular and diabetes diseases.