Knowledge and attitude towards cutaneous leishmaniasis among rural endemic communities in Shara'b district, Taiz, southwestern Yemen

Alharazi, Talal H. and Haouas, Najoua and Al-Mekhlafi, Hesham M. (2021) Knowledge and attitude towards cutaneous leishmaniasis among rural endemic communities in Shara'b district, Taiz, southwestern Yemen. BMC Infectious Diseases, 21 (1). ISSN 1471-2334, DOI

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BackgroundCutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a neglected tropical disease, represents a significant public health problem in many endemic countries including Yemen. The ongoing armed conflict that started in March 2015 has had a negative impact on the entire healthcare system as well as on infectious disease control programmes. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aimed to assess knowledge and attitude towards CL among rural endemic communities in southwestern Yemen.MethodsFive hundred households in five areas of Shara'b district of Taiz governorate were randomly selected to participate in a quantitative survey. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect data on the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants, their knowledge and attitude towards CL and their knowledge on the sand fly vector.ResultsThe analysis was conducted on a final sample of 466 individuals (62.7% males and 37.3% females) aged between 18 and 70years. Among the participants, 21.5% were non-educated while 39.7 and 20.8% had completed secondary school and tertiary education, respectively. Although the participants were aware of CL, about three quarters (77.7%) of them had poor overall knowledge about disease transmission, clinical presentation, treatment, and prevention. Interestingly, approximately half of the participants (49.1%) were able to differentiate sand flies from other flies and mosquitoes. However, only 14.8% of the participants knew about the role of the phlebotomine sand fly in the transmission of CL. Only 36.6% believed that CL can be prevented and 49.6% had a negative attitude towards the disease. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that age and gender were the significant determinants of knowledge about CL and the sand fly vector among the studied population.ConclusionA poor level of knowledge about the different epidemiological aspects of CL was found among rural CL-endemic communities in Taiz. This factor, together with the major collapse of the healthcare infrastructure due to the ongoing civil war in Yemen, may be contributing to the continued endemicity of CL in the governorate. It is therefore recommended that health education on CL transmission and prevention should be provided to the targeted communities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cutaneous leishmaniasis; Neglected tropical diseases; Infectious diseases; Knowledge; Attitude; Yemen
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 07:22
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 07:22

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