Evaluation of knowledge and awareness of invasive fungal infections amongst resident doctors in Nigeria

Pan Afr Med J. 2020 Aug 18;36:297. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2020.36.297.23279. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: it has been estimated that about 11.8% of the Nigerians suffer serious fungal infections annually. A high index of suspicion with early diagnosis and institution of appropriate therapy significantly impacts on the morbidity and mortality of invasive fungal infections (IFIs).

Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional multicentre survey across 7 tertiary hospitals in 5 geopolitical zones of Nigeria between June 2013 and March 2015. Knowledge, awareness and practice of Nigerian resident doctors about the diagnosis and management of invasive fungal infections were evaluated using a semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire. Assessment was categorized as poor, fair and good.

Results: 834(79.7%) of the 1046 participants had some knowledge of IFIs, 338(32.3%) from undergraduate medical training and 191(18.3%) during post-graduate (specialty) residency training. Number of years spent in clinical practice was positively related to knowledge of management of IFIs, which was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Only 2 (0.002%) out of the 1046 respondents had a good level of awareness of IFIs. Only 4(0.4%) of respondents had seen > 10 cases of IFIs; while 10(1%) had seen between 5-10 cases, 180(17.2%) less than 5 cases and the rest had never seen or managed any cases of IFIs. There were statistically significant differences in knowledge about IFIs among the various cadres of doctors (p < 0.001) as level of knowledge increased with rank/seniority.

Conclusion: knowledge gaps exist that could militate against optimal management of IFIs in Nigeria. Targeted continuing medical education (CME) programmes and a revision of the postgraduate medical education curriculum is recommended.

Keywords: Invasive fungal infections; Nigeria; continuing medical education; resident doctors.