Outbreaks of avian influenza H5N1 occurred in Africa’s poultry and 16 countries have
reported human infections globally. Intensified human-animal interactions necessitate
correct communication of health messages to reduce zoonotic infection. This work was done
to determine differences between pictorial and literal health education communication.
Cross-sectional survey using literal and pictorial questionnaires in live bird markets and
poultry farms was carried out among respondents based on matching criteria. Responses
were scored and analysed with probability of independence using Chi square test and
pairwise correlation. The degree of knowledge of clinical signs in birds, affected species,
communication means and biosecurity were good, that of the post-mortem signs was poor
with increasing potentials of human exposure to virus-rich visceral tissues from slaughtered
sick birds. Marked differences existed for the various items listed within each knowledge field,
the odds of having correct responses from pictorial were better than with literal respondents.
Risky practices were still practised in the LBMs despite the good degree of knowledge of
hygiene and biosecurity. Knowledge and implementation does not always correlate and
pictorial representation out surpasses literal method in communicating potential zoonotic
H5N1 influenza A infection to the undiscerning public.