Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about rabies among the people in the community, healthcare professionals and veterinary practitioners in Bangladesh
journal contributionposted on 22.12.2021, 01:01 by Md Sohel Rana, Afsana Akter Jahan, SM Golam Kaisar, Umme Ruman Siddiqi, Subir Sarker, Mst Ismat Ara Begum, Sumon Ghosh, Subir SarkerSubir Sarker, Be-Nazir Ahmed, Abul Khair Mohammad Shamsuzzaman
It is crucial to explore knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (KAP) about rabies among the people in the community, the personnel dealing with animal bite management and suspected rabies patients, including humans and animals, to facilitate intervention in improving rabies elimination strategies. In 2016, we conducted an interactive face-to-face survey in three different districts of Bangladesh to understand the extent of KAP towards rabies in the community peoples (CPs), human healthcare professionals (HCPs) and veterinary practitioners (VPs). A set of prescribed questions was employed to measure what proportion of each group possessed sufficient knowledge, positive attitudes and adequate perceptions about rabies. A total of 1133 CPs, 211 HCPs and 168 VPs were interviewed by using a standard questionnaire comprising both closed and open-ended questions. Of the CPs, 49% identified the disease correctly (i.e. rabies is caused by an animal bite or a scratch). Only 29% of the CPs were aware that a wound should be washed immediately with soap and water after an animal bite or a scratch. However, only 49% of the CPs, 65% of the HCPs and 60% of the VPs felt that it is important to consult a physician and receive post-exposure vaccine as the first line of treatment following an animal exposure. Among the HCPs, 23% of the respondents did not possess sufficient knowledge about animal bites as categorised by the World Health Organization (WHO), and 12% of the respondents did not possess the knowledge on how to manage an animal bite properly. Out of 52% of the VPs who previously treated suspected rabid animals, only 29% had a history of taking rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Lack of formal education and rural subsistence were found to largely contribute to poor rabies KAP level among the CPs (P ≤ 0.01). There has been a high demand for proper training to be provided to HCPs and VPs for the effective management of an animal bite incidence in human and animals, respectively. Multi-sectoral collaboration through integrated One Health initiatives including community education, awareness programmes, facilitation of rabies PEP, and dog vaccination as well as its population control are critical in the way forward to control rabies in Bangladesh.