GAPS IN THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND POLIO WORKERS REGARDING POLIO ERADICATION
BACKGROUND: Polio Eradication initiative since its initiation in Pakistan has focused on dissemination and advocacy and raising awareness regarding polio eradication in addition to high oral polio vaccine (OPV) coverage. While the focus had been on the aforesaid activities the generation of demand for routine Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) services, strengthening health system and other complementary issues e.g. access to safe drinking water and improvement in sanitation practices for the prevention of polio transmission were not given the due importance resulting in failure to polio eradication in Pakistan. This study was conducted to assess & identify gaps in the knowledge, attitude and practices between community members & polio workers regarding polio eradication in District Quetta.
METHODS: This mixed methodology cross sectional survey was carried out from 1st April to 30th June,2010 during polio NID round of Baleli-A zone of District Quetta, Balochistan. A total of 96 households were selected through simple random sampling. Community household members and all the polio campaign workers in Baleli-A zone administered a structured questionnaire. Observations were carried out through structured checklist and as participant observer.
RESULTS: Knowledge about polio transmission was 85% in polio workers and 43% in community members. The 85% of the polio workers and 68% of the community members reported that complete vaccination can prevent from polio. A gap in the knowledge level of polio worker and community members was observed regarding the routine EPI diseases. Knowledge about polio and measles was better compared to other EPI diseases. Most important activity for the polio workers (55%) was vaccinating the children while 40% reported finger marking as the most important activity. All polio workers and 77% of the community members see repeated polio rounds as beneficial in their area. 80% of the polio workers did not feel fatigued The main reported reason for refusing polio vaccination was family planning both by community members (67%) and polio workers (85%).
CONCLUSION: Keeping in view the above findings regarding Baleli-A zone, the eradication of polio in the study area and other similar high-risk populations will remain a challenge in the quest for polio eradication in Pakistan.
KEYWORDS: Polio, Knowledge Attitude and Practices, Health Systems, Polio virus.
All Publication rights reserved with the editorial board, PJHS. No individual or organization is allowed to copy or reproduce any meterial publication in this journal without the permission of Chief Editor.