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  • 1 Kala-azar Medical Research Center, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
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The Indian Government aspires to eliminate Kala-azar by 2010. Success of any disease control program depends on community participation, and there is no published data about the knowledge, attitude, and practices of the community about Kala-azar in endemic regions of India. For this knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) study, the heads of 3,968 households in a rural area, consisting of 26,444 populations, were interviewed using a pre-tested, semi-structured schedule. Most of the study subjects (97.4%) were aware of Kala-azar. Fever (71.3%) and weight loss (30.5%) were the most commonly known symptoms. The infectious nature of the disease was known to 39.9%. The majority believed that the disease spreads by mosquito bites (72.8%). For 63.6%, the breeding site of the vector was garbage collection. Only 23.6% preferred the public health sector for treatment, and 55.9% believed that facilities at primary health centers are not adequate. Poor knowledge of the study subjects about the disease and breeding sites of the vector underscores the need for health educational campaigns if the elimination program is to succeed.