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Knowledge and awareness about chickenpox vaccine among parents with children under the age of 5 years in Kuwait health centers in 2014

Abdulla Alnema, Sulieman Alhuwais, Hend Danbouh, Riyam Albannai, Nasser Alrumaidhi, Aseel Alenezi, Faiez Almedhadi, Ahmed Kraidi, Fahad Alasfoor, Abdulaziz Altammar, Adel Salman Alsayyad.

Background: Kuwait government is thinking of introducing the varicella vaccine into the health centers, so it is critical to measure the awareness of parents with children below 5 years, before they do. This is to provide sufficient data that could make them design the proper campaign in different regions in the country that inversely correlates with the knowledge and awareness of the parents. This is to gain the maximum profits from this decision.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to provide basic data to about the knowledge and awareness of parents about the chicken pox vaccine to help in dealing with chickenpox vaccination and disease in Kuwait.

Material and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that was conducted in a selected health centers in all six governorates of Kuwait. The participants were selected conveniently from parents of children under the age of 5 years of age who attended the selected Health Centers during the study period in June 2014. The parents were interviewed using a questionnaire that the researchers developed. The questionnaire contains demographic data, knowledge about chickenpox, knowledge about chickenpox vaccine, and attitude toward the vaccine.

Results: The demographic data included both genders in which 152 (38.0%) were males and 248 (62.0%) were females. The age group between 26 and 35 years old were the most to answer the questionnaire. 336 (84.0%) were working parents. 92.25% of the candidates knew what a vaccine is. 81.5% of the candidates agreed that the role of a vaccine is to protect against disease. 91.25% of the candidates know about chickenpox disease. 71.5% of the candidates are interested in giving their child the vaccine. On evaluating the relationship between the knowledge level and different variables, there is no significant difference by gender or age. On the other hand, the level of education and region there was a difference seen. The higher level of education the more knowledge about chickenpox vaccine they had.

Conclusion: The majority of the sample had a general knowledge about vaccines and a specific knowledge about chickenpox disease. One-third of them had already vaccinated their children and a major group is willing to vaccinate their children in the future if the vaccine is more readily available.

Key words: Knowledge; Awareness; Chickenpox Vaccine; Parents; Kuwait

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