Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.17, Issue 2, 2011; Page No.(235-241)

IMPACT OF ONCHOCERCIASIS ON THE ECONOMY OF RURAL COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY (FCT)

S.A.J. Obansa and M.E. Anibueze

Abstract

Onchocerciasis is a chronic parasitic disease caused by the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus. The disease causes skin diseases, visual impairment and blindness especially among the poor rural populace. This study assessed the impact of onchocerciasis on income/wage and labour supply in the six area council of Abuja, FCT Nigeria, using econometric technique. A cross-sectional analytica design using a ultis age ratified random sampling technique was employed. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection focusing on relevant socio-demographic and economic variables such marital status, age, occupation, wages/income and labour supply. A total of 502 households responded to the questionnaire, representing 93% of planned respondents. The study showed that Onchocerciasis had decreasing impact on the daily wage/income by 23% and labour supply by 66% and thereby leading to a decrease in labour productivity. The use of mectizan drugs was found to be effective in reducing negative effects on labour supply as a result of the disease. Efforts should be made to sustain the use of mectizan drugs to combat the menace of onchocerciasis in the endemic areas.

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