Shahina Pirani, Tazeen Saeed Ali, Saleema Allana, Faisal Wasim Ismail.
Awareness about hepatitis C among patients suffering from hepatitis C in Karachi, Pakistan.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;55(3):70-4.
Objectives: To assess the level of awareness about hepatitis C among patients suffering from hepatitis C in Karachi, Pakistan. Study design, settings and duration: A descriptive, cross-sectional study, conducted among hepatitis C patients recruited from the Aga Khan University Hospital and the Civil Hospital, Karachi, between March and May 2013. Patients and Methods: A sample size of 247 was calculated using the Open Epi software. Data were collected using a questionnaire and all eligible patients were briefed about the study purpose, risks, benefits, and their rights as participants. All patients who agreed to participate gave written informed consent. The completed questionnaire took a maximum of 25-30 minutes. For the data analysis, frequencies and percentages were computed to find out the estimated proportions of different variables. Results: A total of 250 HCV patients participated in the study. Most of the patients had incorrect knowledge about transmission of disease where 76.8% said that it is transmitted through sharing of towel/clothes, coughing (75.2%) or eating in same utensils (53.6%). Tattooing (66.4%), kissing (66%), sexual intercourse (54.4%), ear and nose piercing (53.6%) were also identified as transmission sources. Almost 91% patients had misconceptions that preventive vaccine for hepatitis C infection is available. Almost 61% patients thought that exposure to needles/syringes was the cause of their hepatitis C while 22% said it was medical instruments. Food and water as the cause of their hepatitis was reported by 19.1%. Conclusion: Patients suffering from hepatitis C have misconceptions about disease transmission, its risk factors, and the availability of preventive vaccine for hepatitis C. There is a dire need to improve public awareness about common diseases and their prevention. Key words: Hepatitis C, awareness, misconceptions, Pakistan.
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