Knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary health care workers on zoonotic diseases in Bukonzo County, Kasese District
Asiimwe, Benon B.
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Background Many factors, including lack of knowledge, have been mentioned as contributing to underdiagnosis and underreporting of zoonotic diseases particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. It is important to understand what health care workers in endemic settings know, as well as their attitudes and practices regarding these diseases. Objective To determine knowledge of primary health care workers in Kasese district regarding common Anthrax, Brucellosis, Rabies, Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, as well as assess attitudes and practices of the health care workers (HCWs) regarding these zoonoses. Method A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on 140 HCWs from five health centers in Bukonzo County using a semi-structured questionnaire. To be knowledgeable about a particular zoonosis, a HCW had to know the causative agent, key clinical symptoms and main transmission routes of the disease, while attitudes were assessed using the Likert scale of agreement. Results There was a total lack of overall knowledge (0%) of anthrax and Ebola among all the 140 HCWs; there was poor overall knowledge of brucellosis where only 2/140 (1.4%) were knowledgeable; 5/140 (3.6%) were knowledgeable for rabies while 9/140 (6.4%) PHCWs were knowledgeable for Marburg. Most (71.8%) HCWs always include zoonoses prevention messages in their routine practice; 84.3% recommended curricular in schools of health professionals to include zoonoses; 77.1% thought that specialists should be trained and deployed in high risk areas so as to manage these diseases, while only 45% had ever managed a zoonotic disease. Conclusion There was poor overall knowledge, good attitudes towards management and information dissemination regarding zoonoses and poor practices regarding management among HCWs in Bukonzo County, Kasese district.