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Knowledge and awareness of neglected tropical diseases and control strategies among healthcare students in five Asian countries: A cross-sectional study


Background: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) usually affect the population living in poverty, especially in low- and middle-income countries located in tropical and subtropical regions. This study aimed to assess the awareness of NTDs and willingness to participate in prevention and control measures and their associated factors among healthcare students in Asian countries.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by recruiting healthcare students from Asia mainly Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Syria. Data was collected via online Google form and analyzed in both descriptive and general linear model by using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Results: A total of 1115 respondents participated; among them, 66.1% were medical and the majority (>70%) of the respondents revealed their willingness to participate in the prevention and control programmes. Being a medical student (B = 2.00, P < 0.001), heard about NTDs in the country (B = 2.98, P < 0.001), and having friends or neighbours infected with NTDs (B = 1.19, P = 0.022) were significantly associated with higher knowledge on NTDs. The mean score of knowledge on prevention and control programmes was higher in respondents from Syria (1.74, p = 0.030) and Indonesia (2.32, p = 0.014) compared to other countries.

Conclusion: There is a need for education and training on NTDs not only in medical but also in other allied health programmes curricular aiming to improve the knowledge and future multisectoral collaboration. Effective use of online platforms and social media to provide relevant, engaging content of NTDs, educational resources, and NTDs-related research findings could help to disseminate information about NTDs.

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Journal Article
Htay MNN
Swed S
Elsayed M
Yasir Arafat S
Marthoenis M
Marzo RR
El-Abasiri RAA
Naing ZY
Thantry ADK
Kyaw TM
Myint WW
Gurusamy J
Lutfi Abas AB
Moe S