Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY   FALL 2007-WINTER 2008 , Volume 3 , Number 3-4; Page(s) 7 To 13.
 
Paper: 

COMPARISON OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE (KAP) REGARDING MALARIA TRANSMISSION AND PROTECTION BETWEEN AFGHAN REFUGEES AND IRANIAN RESIDENTS IN IRANSHAHR, 2005-2006

 
Author(s):  BASSERI H.R.*, HOLAKOUIE NAIENI K., RAEISI A., SHAHANDEH KH., AKBARZADEH K., RANJBAR M., PARVIN A.
 
* DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGY AND VECTOR CONTROL, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, TEHRAN
 
Abstract: 

Background & Objectives: The aim of present study is to compare Afghan refugees and Iranian residents in terms of their knowledge, attitude and practice concerning malaria transmission and protection in an endemic area in Southeast Iran.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted over a period of 10 months (2004-2005) and involved a total of 775 people, including Iranian and Afghan subjects. The age range of participants was 15 to 55 years. Data collection was done through a structured questionnaire consisting of open and close questions and comprising several, namely personal characteristics details, history of malaria infection and treatments, type of residence, mobility, self protection, facilities, and access to health services.
Results: Both Iranians and Afghans were familiar with the three typical symptoms of the disease (fever, chills and muscle aches): 67.1% of Iranians and 78% of Afghans were able to name least one of the three typical symptoms. In both groups the majority of subjects were aware that malaria transmission occurs through mosquito bite but there was a significant difference regarding knowledge of malaria transmission (X2=142.2, P<0.001). Chi-square test for goodness of fit showed that the distribution of symptom indicators is significantly different between the two groups. For Iranians, the most important source of information about malaria was the health facilities (44.5% of the total) while most Afghans (65.3%) had obtained the information through friends and relatives. In both groups, the mass media had acted as the source of information in only 3.4%. Altogether, 24% of the participants reported the use of mosquito bed nets; almost 90% of Afghans and 62% of Iranians said that they did not used bed nets at all. However, the number of Iranians who used bed nets was four times greater than the Afghans who did so.
Conclusions: Although the majority of subjects were familiar with malaria transmission and protection methods, they largely neglected safety precautions. Moreover, it seems that the high prevalence of malaria among Afghans is due to their life style rather than cross-border travel. The study also revealed that Afghan people have poor communication with the local health facilities, a point that must receive special attention in future malaria control programs.

 
Keyword(s): MALARIA, SELF-PROTECTION, AFGHAN REFUGEES, BALUCHESTAN, IRAN, KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE, ATTITUDE
 
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