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Background: Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) are non-suppurative cardiovascular sequlae of group A Streptococcus pharyngitis affecting children and young adults. Despite concerted efforts aimed at prevention, they still remain diseases of public health concern globally.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and practice of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease among physicians practicing in public and private hospitals in two states of the Niger delta region of Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Using a structured self administered questionnaire with 9 questions, 123 physicians from all the medical and surgical specialties were interviewed. Data was analyzed using SPSS 20.
Results: Majority (95.93%) of the doctors were working in Government hospitals and nearly half (49.59%) of them were Paediatricians. Over half (50.41%) had more than 5 years’ experience in medical practice. Among the cadre of the doctors, house officers represented 44.72% while Consultants constituted 17.07% of the study participants. The study showed that 70 (56.91%) of the study participants selected at least seven correct answers out of the nine questions that assessed their knowledge and practice and so showed a good knowledge and practice of ARF and RHD.
Conclusion: Though a good level of knowledge and practice was gotten from our study, there are still some gaps in the knowledge and practice that can be improved by health education through training and retraining our healthcare professionals. We therefore recommend the inclusion of ARF and RHD in CME and other training programs.
World Health Assembly 71. Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease: report by the Director-General.World Health Organization; 2018.
(Accessed 22nd of August 2019)
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