Comparative knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding anthrax, brucellosis, and rabies in three districts of northern Tanzania
Kiffner, Christian ; Latzer, Michelle ; Vise, Ruby ; Benson, Hayley ; Hammon, Elizabeth ; Kioko, John
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16866
Abstract Background Knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) surveys regarding zoonotic diseases are crucial to understanding the extent of knowledge among citizens and for guiding health-related education programs. Method Employing a structured questionnaire, we interviewed residents (n = 388) in three districts of northern Tanzania (Karatu n = 128, Monduli n = 114, Babati n = 146) to assess knowledge, attitudes and reported practices regarding three zoonotic diseases that occur in the region (anthrax, brucellosis, and rabies). We used generalized linear mixed effects models and multi-model inference to identify demographic correlates of knowledge. Results Proportional average district- and disease- specific knowledge scores ranged from 0.14–0.61. We found positive correlations between age and knowledge of symptoms, causes and treatments of anthrax (three districts), brucellosis (three districts), and rabies (one district). Gender, ethnic identity, formal education and ownership of livestock or dogs had variable effects on knowledge among the interviewed population. Risk perceptions regarding different diseases varied across districts and were positively correlated with knowledge of the specific diseases. Direct interactions with livestock and domestic dogs were reported to occur across all demographic groups, suggesting that most people living in rural settings of our study area are potentially exposed to zoonotic diseases. Behaviors which may favor transmission of specific pathogens (such as consumption of raw milk or meat) were occasionally reported and varied by district. Wildlife was generally regarded as negative or neutral with regard to overall veterinary and human health. Conclusion The combination of variable knowledge about zoonotic diseases in the three districts, reported occurrence of practices that are conducive to pathogen transmission, and previously documented circulation of pathogens causing anthrax, brucellosis and rabies in our study system, call for health education programs embedded in a holistic One Health approach.