Back to search

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of the rural community about cutaneous leishmaniasis in Wolaita zone, southern Ethiopia


Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a neglected tropical disease that is caused by a Leishmania parasite and transmitted by the bite of infected female sandflies. Community awareness is an essential component of disease control and prevention. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the community’s knowledge, attitude, and practice toward CL in Wolaita zone, southern Ethiopia.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study design was employed to include 422 study subjects selected using a systematic sampling technique from two districts, Kindo Didaye and Sodo Zuria. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the household heads. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between the participants’ knowledge about CL and socio-demographic characteristics.

Results: Out of the 422 study participants, only 19% had good knowledge of CL in general. Most (67.1%) of the respondents knew CL by its local name ("bolbo" or "moora") though this knowledge varied highly over the study districts. The majority (86.3%) of respondents did not know how CL is acquired, though they considered CL a health problem. Most (62.8%) respondents believed that CL was an untreatable disease. Most (77%) participants responded that CL patients preferred to go to traditional healers for treatment. Herbal treatment was the most (50.2%) used to treat CL. Knowledge about CL was significantly associated with sex, age, and study districts.

Conclusion: The overall knowledge, attitude, and practice about CL and its prevention in the study area were low. This emphasizes the need to implement health education and awareness campaign to reduce the risk of CL infection. Policymakers and stakeholders should also give due attention to the prevention and treatment of CL in the study area.

More information

Journal Article
Alemayehu B
Kelbore AG
Alemayehu M
Adugna C
Bibo T
Megaze A
Leirs H
Badirzadeh A