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Reading: Knowledge on Leishmaniasis among Health Care Workers In Endemic Area

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Research Articles

Knowledge on Leishmaniasis among Health Care Workers In Endemic Area

Authors:

Hema Swarnalatha Weerakoon ,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, LK
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Ranthilaka Rasika Ranawaka,

Base Hospital Homagama, Sri Lanka, LK
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Weesing Mudianselage Palitha Bandara,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, LK
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Padmasiri Herath,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, LK
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Yatigam Pitiyage Janith Niwanthaka Warnasekara

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
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Abstract

Background
Anuradhapura has one of the highest incidences of Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka. Our aim was to assess the knowledge on Leishmaniasis among health care workers except medical officers in Anuradhapura in order to identify the gaps in the health system for improvement of knowledge among health staff.

Methods
A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among heathcare workers (excluding medical officers) working in all Medical Officer of Health areas of the Regional Director of the Health Services division, Anuradhapura. Data were collected through a structured self-administered questionnaire from June 2013 to January 2014. Questionnaire consisted of questions related to the knowledge on symptoms and signs of the disease, treatment, prevention and control.

Results
Altogether, 212 males and 588 females participated. Of them, 97.1% (n=776) had heard about the disease before; 89.4% (n=715) knew that this is a parasitic disease and the mode of transmission was known to 97.8% (n=782)). Commonly affected body parts and at risk groups were known to 95.2% (n=761) and 55.2% (n=441) respondents, respectively. Around 90% (720) were aware of the role of dogs as reservoirs. Early diagnosis and treatment was mentioned as the main control measure by 77.8% (n=622) of the participants.

Conclusion
Majority of healthcare workers had adequate knowledge about the disease. They can play an important role in case suspicion and referral to the relevant authority, prevention and help for timely treatment of Leishmaniasis.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v10i1.7597
How to Cite: Weerakoon, H.S. et al., (2016). Knowledge on Leishmaniasis among Health Care Workers In Endemic Area. Anuradhapura Medical Journal. 10(1), pp.6–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v10i1.7597
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Published on 01 Sep 2016.
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