5th International Conference on Parasitology & Microbiology
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Title: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices on Schistosomiasis in Sub-saharan Africa: A Systematic Review
Biography: Hlengiwe Sacolo
Background: The World Health Organization emphasises on the use of integrative approaches in the control and elimination of schistosomiasis. A detailed understanding of sociocultural factors that may influence the uptake of the intended health activities and services is vital. Thus, our study sought to understand the knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and practices about schistosomiasis in various communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Materials & Methods: A systematic search of literature for the period 2006-2016 was done on Medline, PubMed, CINAHL, Psych info and Google Scholar using the following key words “Schistosomiasis, S. mansoni, S. haematobium, knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and practices in Sub-Saharan Africa” in combination with Boolean operators (OR, AND). In this context, we reviewed studies conducted among school children, community members and caregivers of preschool children.
Results: Studies reviewed reflected inadequate knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to schistosomiasis. Age, gender, occupation and level of education were widely shown to have an impact on schistosomiasis knowledge and practices. About 60% of the studies reviewed reflected widespread misconceptions on the transmission and prevention of schistosomiasis. The disease was mostly believed to be caused by HIV, consuming unclean water and contaminated food. Risky water related practices such as swimming, bathing and washing clothes in open water bodies were identified as key factors promoting transmission of the disease.
Conclusion: The study concluded that a comprehensive health education programme using contextual and standardised training tools may improve peoples’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to schistosomiasis prevention and control.