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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 167-172

An assessment of knowledge, awareness, and attitude of undergraduates toward sickle cell disease in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Ahmadu Bello University/Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ebele Uche
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_111_18

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Background: Sickle cell anaemia is an autosomal recessive disorder which occurs as a result of the substitution of glutamic acid with valine at the 6th position of the haemoglobin beta chain, resulting in the synthesis of abnormal haemoglobin and the consequent production of the characteristic sickled red blood cells. Sickle cell anaemia is the homozygous form where two HbS genes are inherited, whilst in Sickle cell disease, the HbS is inherited along with another abnormal haemoglobin eg HbE, HbC, etc. Aims and Objectives: This study was aimed at assessing the awareness and knowledge of sickle cell disease among students in a tertiary institution, as well as their attitude to the disease. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional quantitative interviewer administered questionnaire study, involving 200 undergraduates of the Lagos State University Ojo Campus, Lagos. Information collected include socio-demographic information, as well as questions to assess the awareness, knowledge and attitude to Sickle Cell Disease. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Results: The total knowledge score was 20 and depending on the total score of the respondents, knowledge levels were grouped as poor (0-6), fair (6-13) and good (14-20). Of the 200 respondents, 37.5% had good knowledge of SCD, despite high level of awareness (92.5%). The knowledge level of the respondents based on the score revealed a mean score 12.05 + 3.14 indicating fair general knowledge of the respondents. 67.5% of respondents were aware of their haemoglobin phenotypes. More than half (59%) of the respondents knew someone living with sickle cell disease and 154 (77%) agreed that haemoglobin phenotype would play a significant role in their choice of a life partnzer. Conclusion: The awareness of SCD among the students is high but this awareness did not translate to good overall knowledge about the disease. This underscores the importance of increased public health education on SCD, in order to increase the knowledge about SCD.

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