[Rabies knowledge, attitudes, and practices of human and animal healthcare providers in Chad]

Rolande Mindekem, Monique Lechenne, Moto Doumagoum Daugla, Jakob Zinsstag, Laurent Tinoaga Ouedraogo, Salifou Salifou
Santé Publique: Revue Multidisciplinaire Pour la Recherche et L'action 2018, 30 (3): 418-428

INTRODUCTION: Rabies, an infectious disease mainly transmitted by dog bites, is fatal due to lack of appropriate knowledge-attitudes-practices (KAP). The KAP of healthcare providers are particularly important because of their presence in the communities and their profession and were evaluated in the present study.

METHODS: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based descriptive study was conducted in healthcare providers recruited from four health districts in Chad in 2015. Data were analysed with Epi Info. 7.

RESULTS: 270 health care providers were interviewed. 87% defined rabies as a disease transmitted from dogs to man. The main reservoir of rabies was the dog (96.7%), the cat (68.9%), but also other animals (35%). All respondents reported dogs to be a vector and 79.6% reported cats. Healthcare providers considered that the virus was transmitted by bites (99.3%) and scratches (50%). The primary means of prevention was vaccination of dogs (82.1%) and post-exposure prophylaxis (16.4%). Immediate washing of the wounds was reported by 65.2% of respondents.

CONCLUSION: Healthcare providers have a good knowledge of the dog as a reservoir and vector of rabies. However, continuous training is needed to enable them to acquire knowledge about the role of cats and the importance of scratching in the transmission of rabies virus, the need for wound washing, and appropriate bite management based on collaboration between human and veterinary health sectors.

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