Awareness of Viral Hepatitis in ten villages of District Nowshera

Sabina Aziz Asif, Rashid Iqbal, Hamid Hussain, Mohammad Hussain Khan


Background: Viral hepatitis is a cause of great concerns the world over and more so in the developing countries like Pakistan. Its incidence has increased to alarming proportions and is likely to increase further in near future. This study was conducted to assess awareness of a rural community to Hepatitis B and C.

Material & Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2007 to October 2008, in ten villages of District Nowshera. Questionnaire was designed to assess their knowledge about viral Hepatitis. Data was computed using SPSS version 10.

Results: A total of 3654 respondents were interviewed, 642 (17.6%) were aware that Hepatitis B and C were diseases of liver and transmitted by a virus. Respondents reported that there were multiple routes of transmission of this disease. Used syringes were the most common factor reported to be responsible for spread of this disease, followed by dental apparatus, injuries caused by nail cutters and sexual contact. One fifth (20%) of the respondents were unable to identify any physical sign or symptom of the disease. Television, Doctors and Radio appeared to be the most popular sources of information used for obtaining health information on these diseases this was reported by 43%.42% and 40% of the population respectively.

Conclusion: Knowledge and awareness regarding the causative agent, mode of transmission and the consequences of Hepatitis B and C are poor in rural communities.

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