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We undertook a study to assess current knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to kala-azar to advise the national kala-azar elimination program in Bangladesh. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in two endemic subdistricts (upazilas): Fulbaria and Trishal. Based on upazila health complex surveillance data, one endemic village was selected randomly from each of these subdistricts. A total of 511 households (HHs) (261 in Fulbaria and 250 in Trishal) were included in the study. An adult from each HH was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Specifically, data were collected on knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to kala-azar. Of the respondents, 52.64% were illiterate. All study participants had heard approximately kala-azar, and 30.14% of the HHs or neighboring HHs have had at least one kala-azar case. Of the respondents, 68.88% knew that kala-azar is transmitted through sick people, and more than 56.53% of the study participants said that mosquitoes transmitted kala-azar, even though 90.80% were aware of the presence of sand flies. Of the participants, 46.55% were aware that insect vectors laid their eggs in the water. The Upazila Health Complex was the preferable health-care facility for 88.14% of the villagers. In addition, 62.03% used bed nets for preventing sand fly bites and 96.48% of the families had mosquito nets. Based on these observations, the national program should strengthen its current community engagement activities to increase the knowledge of kala-azar in endemic communities.
Disclosure: The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article, which do not necessarily represent the views, decisions, or policies of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The study protocol was approved by the ethical review committees of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council. Informed consent to participate in the household survey was acquired from the head of the household before voluntary participation in the study.
Authors’ addresses: Shyla Faria and Sarder Mahmud Hossain, Northern University Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Md. Sahidul Islam, Department of Statistics, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh, E-mail: email@example.com. Vashkar Chowdhury, Eden Mohila College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rajib Chowdhury, International Centre for Diarrhoea Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Independent University Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: email@example.com.