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Research Articles

Preliminary survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding rabies

Authors:

J. T. Muthunuwan,

Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About J. T.
MBBS undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana
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A. G. K. H. Ganhewa,

Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About A. G. K. H.
MBBS undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana
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H. D. S. G. Perera,

Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About H. D. S. G.
MBBS undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana
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M. Hishaam,

Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About M.
MBBS undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana
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W. M. M. S. Bandara,

Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About W. M. M. S.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pre Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana
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H. A. K. M. Gunasekera

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
About H. A. K. M.
MBBS (Colombo), M.Phil (Colombo) Senior lecturer Dept. of Microbiology
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Abstract

Introduction The Public Health Veterinary Services’ goal is to reduce the number of deaths from rabies to zero by 2020. Community awareness and responsible behaviour of pet owners are key to achieving this goal. Knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) regarding rabies has been reported only from Kandy district. We describe a preliminary survey among outpatients in Colombo, to supplement existing knowledge. Methods A convenience sample (n = 200) was selected during April to May 2016, from outpatients of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Results Majority were female (66.5%), Buddhist (80.5%) and from Colombo (58.5%). More than 75% of the sample knew dogs were the main reservoir, that transmission was by biting, that washing the wound was important and that rabies could be prevented by vaccinating dogs and humans. However, only 22.5% were aware that rabies was fatal after development of disease. Knowledge was lacking regarding other animal reservoirs, other modes of transmission and clinical features of rabid animals. Pet owners were more likely to have been bitten by a dog than others (p<0.05). However, only half of the respondents admitted that their pets had been vaccinated during the last year. Conclusion Future health education programs should highlight other animals, other methods of transmission and clinical features to identify rabid animals. Message needs to be clear that vaccination after developing the disease does not change the outcome. Reasons for non compliance regarding dog vaccination needs to be investigated.  
How to Cite: Muthunuwan, J.T. et al., (2017). Preliminary survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding rabies. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases. 7(1), pp.38–46. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v7i1.8133
Published on 04 May 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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