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SHJ VOL 7, NO 3

 

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

Community Awareness of Sore Throat And Rhuematic Heart Disease in Northern Ethiopia

 

Abstract.

Introduction: Early treatment of bacterial sore throat is important in primary prevention of acute rheumatic fever (ARF). In Ethiopian population, knowledge about Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and its prevention strategies is expected to be limited, but few studies have been done.

Methods: To determine awareness of RHD prevention in the community in Northern Ethiopia, a descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted. Using structured questionnaire, adults more than 18 years of age were interviewed.

Results: A total of 1298 participants were included, 1004 (77.4%) were from rural areas, 978 (75.3%) were female. Only 34 (2.6%) of the participants responded that the cause of sore throat is due to bacteria/virus and 6.2 % knew the relation between sore throat and heart disease. Of the respondents, 43.3% would take children with sore throat to traditional healers, 71.6% had history of uvulectomy in their children or themselves. Only 7.8% answered that penicillin injection is useful for primary prophylaxis and 8.1% answered that regular penicillin injection is useful as secondary prevention in RHD.

Conclusion: We conclude that the community awareness on the cause and the link between bacterial pharyngitis and ARF/RHD is almost non-existent and hence concerted efforts to change this should be made at different levels.

 

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Abraha Hailu, MD*^, Temesgen Tsega, MD*, Tesfay Gebregziabher, PhD*, Haftom Temesgen Abebe, PhD*, Hagazi Tesfay, MD*, Hagos Kahsay, MD*, Mulugeta Naizgi, MD*, Samuel Berhane, MD*, Marta Yemane, MD*, Yonas Berhane, MD*, Christian Leuner, MD#, Gabriele Wehr MD#

*Mekelle University, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle, Ethiopia
#Etiopia-Witten Development Aid Association, Auf dem Wellerskamp 5, Witten, Germany
^Corresponding Author, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Rheumatic Heart Disease, Awareness, Prevention, Pharyngitis, Ethiopia

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