Sequel to the reported increase in Asthma-caused mortality and morbidity in developing countries, this study investigated the level of awareness, knowledge, attitude and perceived threat about Asthma amongst a sample in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
A standardized questionnaire was administered to the participants who were invited for an Asthma Education Programme1. This was done prior to the commencement of the lectures. About two hundred and thirty five questionnaires were administered, however, the response rate was 81.0 % (77 females, 114 males). Information elicited was on sociodemographics, awareness, knowledge, Asthma-dislikes, perceived threats about Asthma among others.
Although most (92.0%) of the participants were literate, some (30.2%) claimed not to have heard of Asthma whilst 19.0% and 13.6% of those who were aware of Asthma, believed it was heart and spiritual diseases, respectively. Also, 70.1% of the subjects said that asthma was a contagious disease (contracted through shaking hands, sex, sharing food and cloths with asthmatics as well as a curse from powerful herbalist). More so, 61.5% indicated “being avoided by others” as their Asthma-dislike, but then only 7.3% perceived Asthma as a very serious threat to their health.
The current levels of awareness and knowledge about asthma are very low. Also, the economic and biopsychosocial conditions of the asthmatics could be adversely affected by discrimination occasioned by the grassroots’ perception of asthma as a contagious disease.
Asthma education programme is needed in order to create massive awareness and correct the wrong perception about asthma amongst the community people.
Gregory Erhabor, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information