Toxoplasmosis is one of the major global zoonotic diseases which have a great impact on human health with more serious outcomes in immunocompromised and pregnant women. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of the community towards zoonotic importance of the disease in central Afar region of Northeast Ethiopia using structured questionnaire, key informants interview and focal group discussion. According to the logistic regression analysis of pregnant women’s awareness on zoonotic Toxoplasma infection, literacy was found statistically significant (P<0.05) in association with awareness of the pregnant women about the disease. According to the respondents’ answers on the general knowledge of toxoplasmosis, majority of these pregnant women have no knowledge or not sure about this parasitic infection. Most of the respondent pregnant women were not sure about the risk factors, symptoms, and timing of infection of toxoplasmosis. However, they routinely practice primary preventive behaviors, particularly good hygienic condition that can prevent them from Toxoplasma infection but this is due to their native knowledge and thinking that ensuring general and personal hygiene can prevent all types of infection. During the study, 24 animal health assistants were participated and almost all had knowledge on zoonotic Toxoplasma infection, transmission, treatment, control and prevention. However, all of them had never diagnosed the disease in animals. Moreover, out of the 68 medical professionals included in the study, only 23 (33.8%) had knowledge on zoonotic Toxoplasma infection which is lower than expected when compared with importance of the disease in human health particularly pregnant women and children. This study showed that there is knowledge gap about the disease and its zoonotic importance. Therefore, refreshing training to medical professionals including health extension workers, imparting health education in one health approach to the community at large and pregnant women in particular and strengthening the diagnostic facility and advising pregnant women to regularly check for toxoplasma infection is mandatory.
Angesom Hadush Desta,
Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Community Towards Zoonotic Importance of Toxoplasma Infection in Central Afar Region, North East Ethiopia, International Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering.
Vol. 3, No. 6,
2015, pp. 74-81.
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