ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEIVED VULNERABILITY IN PERCIEVED CONTROLLABILITY OF ZIKA VIRUS AMONG CUSTOMS OFFICERS
Zika virus is widely recognized to be one of the deadly infections in the world, which has led to the demise of some of its victims in different parts of the world. The study examined the role of knowledge and perceived vulnerability on perceived controllability among Nigerian custom officers. 500 custom officers in Seme (Lagos State), Idiroko (Ogun State) and Jibia (Kastina State) border were judgmentally selected as participants in the study. Data were collected via a standardized questionnaire that consisted of Zika Knowledge Scale, Perceived Vulnerability Scale and Perceived Controllability Scale. The data collected were analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis, linear regression analysis, one-way analysis of variance and t-test statistic. The results revealed amongst others that there is significant relationship between zika knowledge and perceived controllability (r=0.198; p<0.05) and no significant relationship between perceived vulnerability and perceived controllability (r=-0.042, p>0.05); there existed no educational differences among respondents in perceived vulnerability (F=4.12; p>0.05); perceived controllability (F=7.36; p>0.05) and zika knowledge (F=2.11; p>0.05). In addition to these, it was found that gender differences existed in perceived controllability (t=2.39; p<0.05). Based on this, the study suggests that Public health authorities in the Nigeria should continue to raise awareness among women of reproductive age about the risk for Zika virus infection from travel, enabling them to better make informed decisions.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Perceived controllability is a generalized expectancy pertaining to the connection between personal characteristics or actions Rotter, Chance & Phares (1972). People who perceive controllability may evaluate their health positively Bailis & Chipperfield (2002) Chipperfield (1993) and estimate lower risk estimates (Dolinski, Gromski, & Zawisza (1987) ; Kreuter & Strecher (1995) Weinstein & Lachendro (1982). Also, many studies have found that friend support may be positively associated with perceived controllability Bailis, Segall, Mahon, Chipperfield, & Dunn (2001) ; Prenda & Lachman (2001) ; Turner & Noh (1983).
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne virus (genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae) related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. ZIKV was first isolated in 1947 from Rhesus macaques living in the eponymous forest in Uganda. Up to 2006, only sporadic cases of ZIKV human infections were reported in literature Hayes (2009). Accordingly, ZIKV was long considered a low-impact human pathogen, which might explain the limited literature PubMed in January (2016), compared to other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue virus, West Nile virus or chikungunya virus Martinez-Pulgarin , Acevedo-Mendoza, Cardona-Ospina, Rodriguez-Morales, Paniz-Mondolfi (2015).