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Volume 51, Number 1, February 2018

Schistosomiasis knowledge, attitude, practices, and associated factors among primary school children in the Siphofaneni area in the Lowveld of Swaziland 


Thokozani S.B. Maseko, Nkosazana R. Mkhonta, Sakhile K.S. Masuku, Sabelo V. Dlamini, Chia-Kwung Fan


 

Corresponding author:

Chia-Kwung Fan, Corresponding author. Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Xing Street, Taipei 11001, Taiwan. 



 

Background and purpose: 

Schistosomiasis, a worldwide concern, has received attention in Swaziland through control programs such as deworming programs, education programs, and school health programs; however, these programs neglect the importance of monitoring and evaluation strategies such as assessing children's knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) and the prevalence of the disease. Children are a high-risk group because of their water contact practices, and need to be informed about schistosomiasis to influence their attitudes and practices. Social and cultural factors are involved in schistosomiasis control because they instill myths and misconceptions about the disease. As a result, children in the community may be comfortable with bad practices. This study aimed to assess the KAPs of schoolchildren on schistosomiasis, and to identify practices that support or hinder the progress of schistosomiasis control. 



 

Methods:

In 2014, a descriptive quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted through questionnaires among Siphofaneni primary schools, an area hit by schistosomiasis in the Lowveld of Swaziland. A logistic regression model was applied to analyze the data. 



 

Results:

Moderate knowledge, good attitudes, and fairly good practices were observed in the children. However, practices of certain children were risky and they still had some misconceptions. Knowledge was correlated with practice and with predictors of good and bad practices such as male sex, always urinating in water, and always using river water for domestic practices. 



 

Conclusion:

This study suggests that empowering children with knowledge and attempting to modify their water contact, and improved human waste disposal practices are necessary for schistosomiasis control. 



 

Key words:

knowledge-attitude-practices, primary school children, schistosomiasis, Swaziland