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Evaluating the Efficacy of Teaching Methods Regarding Prevention of Human Epilepsy Caused by Taenia solium Neurocysticercosis in Western Kenya

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  • 1 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, and Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada; Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
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Taenia solium neurocysticercosis is a major cause of adult-onset epilepsy in developing countries. A questionnaire was administered to 282 Kenyan farmers, followed by a workshop, a second questionnaire, one-on-one training, and a third questionnaire. People who attended workshops were more likely to know how T. solium causes epilepsy in humans in the third visit than the second (P = 0.001). The likelihood that farmers would tether their pigs 100% of the time, limiting exposure to tapeworm eggs, increased after the first (P < 0.001) and second visits (P < 0.001). Farmers were more likely to have heard of Cysticercus cellulosae in the second (P = 0.001) and third visits (P = 0.007), and to know how pigs acquire infection in the second (P = 0.03) and third visits (P = 0.003). Farmers with at least a grade 8 education were more likely to know how T. solium is transmitted to humans in the second (P = 0.001) and third visits (P = 0.009), and were more likely to understand the relationship between epilepsy and T. solium in the second (P = 0.03) and third visits (P = 0.03). Grade 8 education may enhance learning from written material. Workshops followed by individual on-farm training enhanced knowledge acquisition and behavior changes. Training local government extension workers contributed to the sustainability of this project.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Cate Dewey, Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1. E-mail: cdewey@uoguelph.ca

Financial support: Funding for this project was provided by Veterinarians without Borders-Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (Canada) and the University of Guelph through the Bull Travel Fund.

Authors' addresses: Jared Wohlgemut, Cate Dewey, and Mike Levy, Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada, E-mails: jwohlgem@uoguelph.ca, cdewey@ovc.uoguelph.ca, and mlevy@uoguelph.ca. Florence Mutua, Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: flmutua@yahoo.com.

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