AWARENESS AND KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN OJI RIVER LGA OF ENUGU STATE, SOUTHEAST NIGERIA
Emmanuel I. Umegbolu*
Background: Climate change is defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. Awareness and knowledge about climate change vary across the globe, being higher in the developed countries than developing ones. Findings from Nigerian studies are conflicting; while some report levels of over 80%, others report as low as 13%. Aim: This study aimed to determine the awareness and knowledge of health implications of climate change in Oji-River LGA of Enugu State. Materials and method: Copies of the questionnaire were administered to a sample size of 109 respondents obtained randomly from a cross-section of the population. Data were collected over a period of one month (February- March 2020) and analysed as proportions, t-test, ANOVA and Pearson product moment correlation using MaxStat (version 3.60) statistical software. P-values ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. Results: 95.82% of the respondents were aware of climate change, and 87.85% had knowledge of its health implications. Age, sex, education level, type of residence, occupation and sources of climate change information did not significantly affect awareness and knowledge (p-values were >0.05). The correlation between awareness and knowledge was very weak and non-significant (r=0.19, p=0.60). Conclusion: 95.82% awareness and 87.85% knowledge of climate change were found in Oji-River LGA. This needs to be sustained. Also, exploiting places of religious worships, social media and incorporating climate change education in schools could further help to increase awareness and knowledge.
Keywords: Climate, change, awareness, knowledge, Oji-River.
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