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The awareness of neglected tropical diseases in a sample of medical and nursing students in Cairo University, Egypt: A cross-sectional study

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of chronic diseases affecting 1.2 billion people worldwide, with more burden in the developing communities. Improving awareness about NTDs is a powerful affordable long-term intervention for infection control. In literature, there is a limited number of studies in the developing countries assessing the awareness of healthcare providers regarding these diseases. The present study aimed at assessing the awareness of a sample of Cairo University medical and nursing students regarding NTDs. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on 184 medical and nursing students in Cairo University. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire in English language with an estimated completion time of 15 minutes was used for evaluation. It included question categories which cover the knowledge about NTDs and control measures as well as the willingness to participate in NTDs control activities. Content analysis was performed on the materials and specifications of the epidemiology course given to medical and nursing students. Out of the study participants, 26% knew the meaning of NTDs. The main source of their knowledge was social media followed by the epidemiology course. A percentage of 33% of the students agreed that NTDs are of public health importance in Egypt. Thirty four percent of the participants expressed their willingness to participate in control activities for NTDs. Comparing medical and nursing students, a higher percentage of the nursing students stated that NTDs are causing a public health problem in Egypt with a statistically significant difference (P value < 0.001), while a statistically significant higher percentage of medical students believed that the awareness level regarding NTDs in Egypt is low (P value = 0.002). Cairo University medical and nursing students in this study showed a gap in the level of knowledge regarding NTDs and their control activities which represents a great threat to the control of these diseases.

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Journal Article
Elfar E
Asem N
Yousof H
Ekpo UF
Year of Publication
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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