Knowledge and attitudes about Tetanus and Rabies: A population-based survey from Karachi, Pakistan

Department of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (Impact Factor: 0.41). 04/2012; 62(4):378-82.
Source: PubMed


To evaluate public knowledge regarding predisposing factors, fatality and prevention of Tetanus and Rabies and attitudes toward vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis.
A population-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted in all the 18 towns of Karachi, the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan, from December 2007 to January 2008. Men and women of more than 18 years of age were included in the study which used a self-reporting questionarre as its tool.
There were 1201 people interviewed by the study. The majority of respondents had known or heard about Tetanus (n = 973; 81%) and rabies (n = 699; 58%). There were 29 (2.5%) reported dog bites on the subjects themselves and 218(18%) respondents reported dog bites among their family members during the preceeding one year. Only three (11%) of these dog bite victims received some kind of vaccine or post-exposure prophylaxis. The majority of the participants were not aware of the fatality of these diseases and the importance of vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis. Of the total respondents, 563 (47%) reported an injury or wound during the preceeding one year. Of them, 426 (76%) received a Tetanus injection. Out of the total study population, 1019 (85%) respondents did not know that Tetanus could be a fatal disease, and 844 (70%) did not know that Tetanus could affect and kill newborns. Literate people and males were more likely to have adequate knowledge on multivariate analysis.
Minor injuries and dog bites are a common occurrence in Karachi. Only a small proportion of these patients received post-exposure treatment. Most of the participants were not aware of the fatality of these diseases and the importance and affordability of vaccination in case of dog bites and minor trauma.

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