Awareness and Risk Behaviors of Toxoplasmosis among Hail Population, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Professor Doctor Safia Moussa, Ahlam Jried AL-Bluwe, Ghadah Abdulrahman Albalawi, Ghida Ahmed Alghafees, Rehab Fahad Alharbi, Wejdan Saad Alruwaili
Background Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide disease that severely affects the fetuses and immunocompromised patients and results in many critical and life threatening conditions. Awareness about toxoplasmosis and its transmission not only helps in reducing its prevalence, but also in decreasing the undesired outcomes of congenital toxoplasmosisAim of the work this study aimed to evaluate the level of awareness as well as the behavioral risk factors towards toxoplasmosis in Hail region. Such data are needed for initiating health education activities and aid in the control measures against toxoplasmosis. Subjects and methods A cross sectional study was conducted during the study year 2016-2017 in Hail city, which is located in north of Saudi Arabia. A total randomly selected sample of 800 participants agreed to participate in the current study. Data were collected through individual interviews to fill a structured questionnaire followed by analysis and expression as percentage distribution.. Results Generally, the current study revealed some conflicting results, that although a high percentage of our participants (79.25 %) knew about the toxoplasmosis, unfortunately few percentage of them ( 25.1 %) knew the correct causative agent and only 22.13 %, 22.62 %, 17.75 % and 24 % had knowledge about vulnerable group susceptibility, treatment availability and modality of the disease respectively. Most of the respondents got their information from the internet (55.5 % ). The highest level of knowledge was about the role of cats in transmission of toxoplasmosis (50.25 % ) while the results detected low level of knowledge about other methods of transmission. Unfortunately, many participants in the current work seemed confused about the symptoms of T. gondii infection and surprisingly, 25.37 % of the participants mentioned the Sneezing or coughing from infected person to be one of the mode of transmission of toxoplasmosis which is not correct.The high percentage of the participants (39.12 %) recognized the relation of toxoplasmosis to Congenital anomalies followed by those who mentioned abortion (38.62 %). However knowledge about generalized lymphadenopathy produced the greatest number of wrong answers (98.1 %). It is conflicting that although participants low knowledge regarding the preventive behaviors, good number of them practice the correct preventive measures to avoid infection. Most of our respondents didnt raise cats (64.7 %), do not consume undercooked meat (85.25 %). Moreover, high percentage of them used to wash their hands before eating or handling meat (75.75 %), well cook their meat (88.25 % ) and wash their vegetables (78.88 %). Unfortunately, 69.85 % of the participants used to benefit from cat feces as fertilizer and, 69.5 % of them didnt change the cats litter boxes frequently and 28.9 % of them used to drink tank water. ConclusionHail population have low level of knowledge as well as they are lacking the necessary preventive behavior to Toxoplasma infection and hence, they are vulnerable to toxoplasmosis infection. Likewise, this study reflects the necessity to educate Hail people about the knowledge and hygienic measures which are essential to avoid infection. This is better done through adopting health education program to educate people in groups like in schools, hospitals and other work areas.
Keywords: Toxoplasmosis, Knowledge, Behavioral practice, Hail
Edition: Volume 6 Issue 4, April 2017
Pages: 830 - 840
Direct URL: https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v6i4/ART20172335.pdf