The Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Toward Toxoplasmosis Among Community Members in Iringa Municipal, Tanzania

Main Article Content

Herman Oscar Ntungwa
Ernatus Martine Mkupasi (EMM)
Abdul Selemani Katakweba (ASK)

Keywords

Awareness, Practices, Knowledge, Protozoa, Iringa, Tanzania

Abstract

Toxoplasmosis caused by an intracellular protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is emerging as one of the causes of morbidities and mortalities in many countries. In Tanzania, Iringa is among the regions reported to have high human cases of the disease. However, information about the risk factors for its transmission is lacking. The work explored community awareness about the disease in Iringa municipal. A cross-section study was conducted in Iringa Municipal, to assess the community knowledge, attitude, and practices associated with toxoplasmosis transmission as a basis for planning control strategies. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to selected respondents from households with complaints of rodent infestation and or keeping pigs in randomly selected wards of Iringa municipal to gather information on awareness, attitude, and practices regarding toxoplasmosis and respondent’s social demographic characteristics such as sex, age, economic activities, and level of education. A total of 143 participants were interviewed, where 63.6% and 36.4% were males and females, respectively. Of the respondents, 21% were government-employed, and 49% had attained post-secondary education. The majority of the respondents (32.2%) were of 36-45 years followed by a group of 18-25 years (23.1%). No association between disease knowledge and sex was observed, however, respondents aged 18-25 years had significantly higher knowledge compared to other age groups (p-value=0.037). The knowledge was found to increase with the level of education whereas those with the tertiary level were more knowledgeable about the disease (p <0.0001). Among the observed risky practices for disease transmission included livestock keeping, keeping cats, and unprotected handling of abortion cases in animals. The study has established inadequate knowledge about toxoplasmosis among community members and the presence of disease transmission practices risking the public health in Iringa municipal. Therefore, public health education is recommended to prevent transmission of the disease.

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