Objective: To explore the knowledge, attitude and practices of general community
regarding relationship of typhoid fever, diarrheal diseases and hepatitis with unhygienic
food, water and un-hygienic practices at two urban slum areas of Islamabad.
Methods: A Cross-sectional survey was carried out between October 2003 and April
2004 in two urban squatter settlements of Islamabad, involving 200 households. Sociodemographic
characteristics and awareness levels were assessed by uni-variate analysis.
Results: 91.5% of the respondents were using un-boiled water mainly because of
economic constraints. General community was well aware regarding relationship of
typhoid fever, diarrheal diseases and hepatitis with unhygienic food and unboiled water
but the practices did not match the level of knowledge. Among children, jaundice
(signifying hepatitis) was the most prevalent sign with 1.7±0.3 episodes per year. Among
adults, typhoid fever was most prevalent with 1.2±0.1 episodes per year.
Conclusions: Community was well aware of the un-hygienic practices and diseases
associated with them, but were un-able to apply the principles of hygiene in their daily
lives. Provision of safe drinking water to these communities can reduce burden of
diseases substantially. Reinforcement messages to the community with respect to
modulating their daily lives on the principles of hygiene, which are easy to follow, need
to be given. (Rawal Med J 2008;33:67-70).
Key words: Hygiene, K.A.P, Diseases, Safe drinking Water.