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Knowledge, attitude and practices of university students towards prevention of dengue in Northern India: A questionnaire-based study
journal contributionposted on 11.11.2019, 00:00 authored by PK Prashar, S Dutta, Andrew Taylor-Robinson, B Kumar, A Singh
Background: Dengue is one of the most common arthropod-borne (arbo)viral diseases of humans and poses an increasing global public health threat. Outbreaks of dengue infection in Punjab, India, have been reported for many years, with local transmission by Aedes mosquitoes resulting in multiple case reports in the north west of the state. Objective: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of university students towards dengue in order to inform implementation of intervention strategies for an effective dengue prevention program. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 450 undergraduate and postgraduate students using a pre-tested, self-administered, structured questionnaire. A targeted sampling method was used to enroll respondents at universities in the cities of Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Responses to a range of questions evaluated each participant’s knowledge, attitude and practice towards dengue. The collected data were tabulated and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software. Results: The findings indicate that 38.6% (174/450) of respondents had poor knowledge regarding dengue. Awareness was greater among those studying for a higher academic degree. More than half of participants (249/450; 55.3%) had not attended a workshop or received any other type of formal training relating to prevention of dengue. Approximately one-third of the study cohort did not appreciate the relevance to mosquito control of at least weekly draining ditches (171/450; 38.0%) or of regularly emptying water-filled containers (141/450; 31.3%). Conclusion: The study suggests an apparent lack of knowledge of university students regarding dengue. The insufficiently serious attitude described by many reflects an inadequate level of awareness of dengue. The preventive measures taken by participants were often not effective practices. Hence, the study indicates that future dengue awareness campaigns are required to increase KAP levels and that these should target academic institutions, among other communities, in urban areas of Punjab. These findings may have wider relevance to any region in which dengue is endemic.