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Validating the place of Onchocerciasis in migration: the case of endemic communities in Kwara State, Nigeria

Oyekanmi Babatimehin, Obafemi Awolowo University
Temitope Babatimehin, Federal Government College, Ikirun, Osun State, Nigeria

Despite the rich empirical evidence which suggests that rural-urban drift is often induced by economic considerations and rural deprivation, the literature on onchocerciasis have often claimed that the disease induces massive out-migration from endemic communities. This study examined the actual causes of out-migration in the onchocerciasis endemic area of Patigi LGA, Kwara State, Nigeria. 200 heads of household were randomly selected from each of the three administrative units in the LGA for interview, using the LGA’s onchocerciasis control register comprising of 3005 registered households as frame. The Probit regression analysis showed that the significant migration factors were education (T=8.3321, p<.01), economic factors (T=6.0993, p<.01) and marriage (T=5.0458, p<.01). The study concludes that, onchocerciasis does not lead to out-migration. Rather, some serious developmental problems exists in onchocerciasis endemic communities which tend to push people out of them, and then the disease sets in to further devastate the people left behind.

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Presented in Poster Session 1