Knowledge, attitude, and practices towards schistosomiasis among rural population in Yemen.
BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis is highly prevalent in Yemen, with an estimated 3 million cases, particularly among rural communities. This community-based study aims to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) on schistosomiasis among rural communities in Yemen.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 250 households from ten rural districts in Yemen. Overall, 400 children were screened for urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis. Moreover, parents were interviewed using a pre-tested questionnaire to collect information about the demographic and socioeconomic information and their KAP concerning schistosomiasis.
RESULTS: A total of 127 (31.8%) children were found to be excreting schistosome eggs in either their urine or faeces (22.5% S. haematobium and 8.0% S. mansoni). Although 92.4% of the respondents had heard about schistosomiasis, 49.8%, 68.0% and 47.2% had knowledge concerning the transmission, signs and symptoms, and prevention, respectively. In addition, 77.1% considered schistosomiasis as harmful while 48.5% believed that schistosomiasis could be prevented, albeit their practices to prevent infections were still inadequate. Significant associations between the KAP and age, education, employment status and household monthly income were reported (P < 0.05). Moreover, a significantly higher level of knowledge was reported among the respondents who had infected children compared to those with no infected family members (P < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the level of education and the history of schistosomiasis were the most important factors associated with the KAP concerning schistosomiasis among this population.
CONCLUSION: This study reveals that knowledge about the cause, transmission, symptoms and prevention of schistosomiasis among the rural population in Yemen was inadequate, and that this could be a challenging obstacle to the elimination of schistosomiasis in these communities. Besides the current mass drug administration, school and community-based health education regarding schistosomiasis is imperative among these communities to significantly reduce the transmission and morbidity of schistosomiasis.