Knowledge, Attitude, And Practice of Genotype Screening among Junior and Senior Secondary School Students in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT Abuja

Abdulazeez Abdulhameed, Ramsey Msheliza Yalma


Background: The knowledge, attitude and practice of genotype screening is very important in the control and prevention of sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods of preventing this disease include preschool and premarital screening, genetic counseling, prenatal diagnosis, preconception diagnosis and implantation of normal embryos after in vitro fertilization and in vitro therapy using stem cell transplantation. The objective of this study is to determine the knowledge, attitude and the practice of genotype screening among junior and senior secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT, Abuja.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted among students aged 11-23 years in junior and senior secondary schools in Gwagwalada. A sample size of 264 was studied. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the schools, classes and participants. Data was collected by means of self-administered and semi-structured questionnaire. Demographic variables and associations were tested using Chi-square test with the level of statistical significance set at p<0.05, at 95% confidence interval.

Results: This study showed that the students had good knowledge of SCD as 81.5% and 88.0% of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS) students respectively knew the causes of SCD, 89.5% and 92.7% of the JSS and SSS students knew it could be transmitted from parents to offspring, and 83.3% and 88.0% of the JSS and SSS students knew that marriage of two AS partners could result in a sickle cell child. Also. this study revealed that the students had positive attitudes to SCD as 68.5% and 72.6% of the JSS and SSS students agreed that pre-school practice could prevent SCD while 79.8% and 80.7% of the JSS and SSS students also agreed pre-marital screening could prevent SCD. In addition, 50.9% and 48% of the JSS and SSS students agreed that newborn screening for SCD should be encouraged. The practice of genotype screening was however found to be poor as much as 45.7% and 24.6% of the JSS and SSS students respectively do not know their genotypes, p = 0.001.

Conclusion: The students generally have good knowledge and positive attitudes towards genotype screening; however, the practice of genotype screening was poor. The school authorities should therefore ensure pre-school genotype screening and teaching on SCD should be incorporated early into the school curriculum to reduce the burden of the disease.


Genotype, Screening, Students, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice

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