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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Apr;90(4):646-52. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0488. Epub 2014 Feb 17.

Community knowledge, attitudes and practices on schistosomiasis in western Kenya--the SCORE Project.

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Neglected Tropical Diseases Branch, Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Atlanta, Georgia; ContextFACTOR Solutions, Nairobi, Kenya.


In an effort to improve intervention strategies, community knowledge, attitudes, and practices on schistosomiasis were evaluated using focus group discussions involving 237 participants, in eight Schistosoma mansoni high prevalence districts in rural Nyanza Province, Kenya. The majority of participants reported having heard about schistosomiasis through schools, posters, radio announcements, and community gatherings. Participants had a variety of beliefs about contracting schistosomiasis, including associating it with dirty drinking water and uncooked or contaminated food. Avenues for seeking treatment included health centers, spiritual intervention, herbal treatments, and medicine shops, with health centers receiving the most mention. Barriers to schistosomiasis control included attitudes of community members toward the infection, especially misconceptions that lead to stigma and the perception that diagnosis and treatment are expensive. Schools were the most common avenue for receiving information, suggesting that the existing education infrastructure can be used for health education and improved sensitization about schistosomiasis control programs.

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