Article Text

HOW MANY OF THE YOUNG KNOW ABOUT TUBERCULOSIS?
  1. N Milic1,
  2. D J Kisin1,
  3. S Jovic1,
  4. N Petrovic-Lazarevic2,
  5. T Knezevic1
  1. 1Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  2. 2Ministry of Health of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract

Objective In the world, every second, bacillus tuberculosis infects one person. One third of the world’s population has already been infected, with an expectation that 5–10% will be infected during theirs lives, if they are not HIV positive. Each non-treated patient with active tuberculosis could infect 10–15 persons every year.

Methods We performed an investigation of knowledge, attitudes and behavior of children with reference to tuberculosis. The questionnaire used was anonymous, consisted of 21 questions and was completed by encircling one answer from three or more that were offered. The knowledge check was implemented before and after education.

Results From 4673 children, 51.9% were female and 48.1% were of male gender. On the basic question of is tuberculosis a communicable disease, two-thirds gave a positive answer. However, on the question of how it was transmitted, almost two-thirds answered wrongly. After education, 73.9% of examinees answered correctly. On the rest of the eight questions, they answered with the highest percentage of uncertainty (they often used “I don’t know”), while after education, that percentage significantly decreased (less than 10%). Before education children got basic information about tuberculosis only via public media; after this, health workers and schools provided information to more than a half of examinees.

Conclusions There is a necessity to perform tuberculosis education in children and youth. After education the knowledge about tuberculosis as a communicable disease was improved. Besides a need for sufficient amounts of educational material, it requires constant and continual education for knowledge to become adopted and override current attitudes.

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