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Abstract

ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE TOWARDS HEPATITIS B AMONG HEALTHY POPULATION OF NORTH , SAUDI ARABIA: A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY

Khaled Mahmoud Ghabban*

ABSTRACT

Background: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), viral hepatitis represents a major public health problem. KSA used to be among the countries which had the highest endemicity of seropositive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Prevention against any disease is proportional to KAP of the population. There is deficiency of data from Arar city, KSA, and KAP towards HB among healthy population is never determined. So this study aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of healthy population towards HB in Arar, Saudi Arabia. Participants and methods: A cross sectional, descriptive study was carried out in Arar city during the period from February to June 2016. 421 individuals (aged 18 years and above) were approached for the study. KAP towards HB was assessed by using a pre validated questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for elaborating patients‟ demographic characteristics. Statistical analysis: Collected data were coded and analyzed using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS, version 16). Results: Out of 421 distributed questionnaires, 409 were Saudi, 178 were males, and majority of them were between 18 and 27 years of age. 407 of the participants were healthy and free from HB, but 389 has infected member in the family. There is negative moderate highly significant correlation between knowledge and attitude of studied population towards hepatitis B infection (r=0.544**), weak significant correlation between knowledge and practice (r=0.170) and weak significant correlation between attitude and practice (r=0.199). Conclusion: In conclusion, we are reporting a good level of HBV awareness among the population of Arar city. Our findings indicate also adequate knowledge of the basics of infection control and the prevention of transmission of HB. We also referred to importance of health education programs to limit the infection rate. Empowering the people by providing them ample education and targeting at least one member of each family to have adequate information about HB can help in managing and controlling the infection.

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