Back to search

Disability and its determinants among individuals with onchocerciasis in Southeast Nigeria: a cross-sectional study


Introduction: although onchocerciasis is rarely a life-threatening disease, it causes chronic morbidity which ultimately leads to disability due to late detection and treatment of the infected people. Disability in Onchocerciasis results in activity limitation and social exclusion of the affected individuals through stigma. This study aimed at assessing the level of disability and its determinants among persons with onchocerciasis.

Methods: multi-stage sampling technique was used to recruit 340 respondents from the randomly selected wards. Disability was assessed using WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) tool. Chi-square test and multivariate analysis using binary logistic regression were used to determine factors associated with disability. The level of statistical significance was determined by a p-value of < 0.05.

Results: the highest proportion (35.6%) of the respondents was 55 years and above with a mean age of 46.8±17.5. About three-quarters (76.2%) of them had some form of disability and the disability domains mainly affected were participation in community activities (61.8%) and getting along with other people (54.1%) while the least affected were self-care (26.2%) and life activities including domestic responsibilities (45.0%). The Predictor of disability included being ≥48 years old, (AOR=0.2; 95%CI: 0.1-0.4).

Conclusion: most people with onchocerciasis experience some form of disability and the major determinant for disability is being in the older age group. Thus, there is a need for stakeholders in the onchocerciasis control program to formulate and implement disability screening programs in the communities for early detection of onchocerciasis-associated disability, especially among the older age group.

More information

Journal Article
Otache AE
Ezenwosu IL
Ossai EN
Aniwada EC
Abah SO
Uzochukwu BC