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Original Research

Knowledge and practice of primary health-care physicians regarding the dengue fever in Makkah Al-Mokarramah city, 2013

Abdullah Alzahrani.


Background: Since 1994, Makkah province became a dengue-endemic area with high rate of dengue infection during spring and early summer. The primary-care physician plays a key role in dengue diagnosis, management, and prevention.

Objective: To assess the knowledge and practice of the primary-care physicians in the Ministry of Health regarding the preventive and clinical aspects of dengue fever in Makkah Al-Mokarramah city in 2013.

Materials and Methods: A cross-section analytical study was conducted including physicians working in selected primary health–care centers in Makkah Al-Mokarramah city. Self-administered validated questionnaire was applied. It comprised three main parts: sociodemographic data, questions to assess knowledge regarding preventive and clinical part of dengue fever, and questions to assess the practice regarding preventive and clinical part of dengue fever.

Results: A response rate of 90.9% was obtained among primary health–care physicians in Makkah. Almost one-third of them (34.8%) were aged 25–30 years and only 8.6% were over 45 years. Physicians in the age group 25–30 years constituted 42.1% of the participants. More than half of them (54.1%) were females. Overall, knowledge regarding dengue fever was excellent among 43.4% of the respondents and only insufficient among 10.1%. Almost three-quarters (74.2%) of the physicians always or most of the time performed dengue test if they suspect dengue compared to 16.4% never performed dengue test for suspected cases. Among those who did not perform dengue test and responded to the question, the most common reported cause was the unavailability of the test at their workplace (82.6%). Almost two-thirds of physicians (61.6%) reported that their center did not provide to the patients any type of preventive methods to avoid mosquito bite.

Conclusion: The results of this survey provide a useful opportunity to identify strengths and areas in need of improved knowledge and practice in primary-care management of dengue.

Key words: Dengue fever, knowledge, practice, primary health care, physicians

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