Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of the Community Residents Concerning the Prevention and Control of Leptospirosis in the National Capital Region (NCR), Philippines

Jonathan P. Guevarra,1 Maridel P. Borja,2 Nina G. Gloriani,3
Roderick M. Napulan2 and Shin-ichi Yoshida4

1Department of Health Promotion and Education,
College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
3Department of Medical Microbiology,
College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
4Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan

Objective. This study assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the community residents on the prevention and control of Leptospirosis in the National Capital Region Philippines.

Methods. In this cross-sectional study, four-stage random cluster sampling proportional to size was used to select the 413 respondents from 30 villages in the National Capital Region. The mother or any responsible adult served as the respondent for the community survey which yielded data on the knowledge, attitudes, domestic practices, and sources of information for the prevention and control of Leptospirosis. Encoding was done using Epi Info Version 6. Descriptive statistics was generated through Microsoft Excel.

Results. Majority of the respondents were able to correctly identify that the causative agent of leptospirosis is bacteria (91%), that the disease is transmitted by the urine of infected rates (89%) through skin abrasions (71%) and mucous membranes (57%). Most commonly identified signs and symptoms of the disease include acute febrile illness with myalgia (87%), difficulty of breathing and decreased urine output (72%). Majority identified the prevention and control measures correctly. Wearing of boots, maintaining a clean and orderly house and maintaining good sanitation were the top answers of the respondents. In terms of attitudes, respondents had positive attitudes towards the preventive practices of wearing boots or following health advisories of authorities (99%). Majority also believed that leptospirosis is curable if detected (99%) and positive attitude when it comes to health care. Wading in flood water (93%), walking barefoot (85%) and conducting clearing activities after flood (63%) were the commonly believed forms of exposure to the disease. In terms of domestic practices, respondents usually clean their surroundings (40%), avoid wading in floodwaters (25%), wear boots (21%) to protect themselves from acquiring leptospirosis were the mass media (46%), health workers (17%) and the health facilities (14%). The most common educational materials read by the respondents were flyers (9%), posters (8%), and leaflets (7%).

Conclusion. In general, majority of the respondents were knowledgeable on the causes, signs and symptoms, and modes of transmission of leptospirosis, and had favorable attitudes towards the prevention and control measures against leptospirosis. However, when it comes to domestic practices, less than 40% actually implement measures for the prevention and control of leptospirosis. Respondents' main source of information was the mass media and very few have read educational materials containing information about the prevention and control of leptospirosis.

Key Words: Leptospirosis, knowledge, attitudes and practices, prevention and control