EFFECT OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION INTERVENTION ON KNOWLEDGE OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE AMONG CHRISTIAN YOUTHS IN SELECTED TOWNS OF DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
Sickle cell disease has been identified as a problem of public health importance by the World Health Organization. The prevalence of the disease in African has left the continent grappling with the problems associated with the disease condition. Therefore, this study assessed the effect of three health communication interventions on knowledge of sickle cell disease among Christian youths in selected towns of Delta State, Nigeria. The study utilized three groups pre test post test quasi-experimental design. The multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 123 unmarried youths. Data were collected using a questionnaire for the pre and post interventions. Three research hypotheses were tested using inferential statistics of T-test tested at 0.05 level of significance. The results indicated that there are significant difference in the level of knowledge of sickle cell disease among Christian youths at pre and post-intervention of health talk (mean difference = 26.3, t(54) = 7.27, p = .000), health messages using flyers (mean difference = 14.19, t(60) = 3.89, p = .007), and a combination of health talk and health messages using flyers (mean difference = 28.9, t(48) = 11.09, p = .000). The results showed that all the three health communication interventions were good but the combination of health talk and the use of flyers was more effective than the isolated intervention of health talk and the use of flyers.
Based on the outcome of the study and considering the impact of the intervention on the knowledge, the study concluded that sickle cell diseases communication interventions could be employed to check the prevalence of the disease. It is therefore recommended that government should add sickle cell disease education to secondary school curriculum. This will help to educate the youths on sickle cell disease at early age.
Christian youths, communication interventions, sickle cell disease