THE ROLE OF ROAD TRANSPORT IN THE SPREAD OF SOME DISEASES IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
The aim of this study reported herein is to inform on how some diseases are spread via road transport, using some settlements along corridors of some major highways in northern Nigeria. The objectives of this study are to provide clues and evidences of the possible spread of diseases through different kinds of interrelationships between the drivers, travelers and people residing in the settlements along corridors of road, to determine the pattern of spread in settlements and explain the factors responsible. Data for this study was obtained through the administration of 800 questionnaires to respondents in their activity places and Oral interviews and individual discussions were also conducted, out of which 640 were returned. The Federal Road Safety Commission provided list of major stopping places in settlements/towns along corridors of major highways. The Health centers located in the settlements provided records of treated diseases, while, other information were obtained from secondary sources. These exercise produced information on the relationship between number of travels, travelers' behaviors, travelling characteristics, other socio-commercial contacts that facilitated and encouraged interrelationship between commuters and settlers. The data were subjected to Nearest neighbor analysis to reveal Â clustered pattern of spread in Marrabban Jos, Birnn-gwari, Saminaka, Funtua and Wudil towns, it depicted linear pattern of spread in Tafa,Tegina, Mokwa and Jebba settlements and dispersal pattern in metropolitan areas due to some reasons. The percentage calculation was performed to determine the contributions of factors influencing the spread of these diseases. This study found out from out-patients record of 1999-2010 that there is increase in the number of treated cases. Thus travelers (more especially drivers of tankers, buses and others) are the major carriers, who spread these diseases while resident settlers along corridors of major roads act as absorbers and plat forms for the transmission of these diseases. It was recommended that a strong awareness campaign through seminars, workshops, visual and audiovisual methods be pursued. Also the construction of standard resting places with good Health Care Centers in settlements along corridors of these highways is very necessary and urgent attention
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