Ethnic groups' knowledge, attitude and practices and Rift Valley fever exposure in Isiolo County of Kenya

Affognon, H D and Mburu, P and Hassan, O A and Kingori, S and Ahlm, C and Sang, R and Evander, M (2017) Ethnic groups' knowledge, attitude and practices and Rift Valley fever exposure in Isiolo County of Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11 (3). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1935-2727

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Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic fever in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, affecting humans and livestock. For spread of infectious diseases, including RVF, knowledge, attitude and practices play an important role, and the understanding of the influence of behavior is crucial to improve prevention and control efforts. The objective of the study was to assess RVF exposure, in a multiethnic region in Kenya known to experience RVF outbreaks, from the behavior perspective. We investigated how communities in Isiolo County, Kenya were affected, in relation to their knowledge, attitude and practices, by the RVF outbreak of 2006/2007. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 698 households selected randomly from three different ethnic communities. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire regarding knowledge, attitudes and practices that could affect the spread of RVF. In addition, information was collected from the communities regarding the number of humans and livestock affected during the RVF outbreak. This study found that better knowledge about a specific disease does not always translate to better practices to avoid exposure to the disease. However, the high knowledge, attitude and practice score measured as a single index of the Maasai community may explain why they were less affected, compared to other investigated communities (Borana and Turkana), by RVF during the 2006/2007 outbreak. We conclude that RVF exposure in Isiolo County, Kenya during the outbreak was likely determined by the behavioral differences of different resident community groups. We then recommend that strategies to combat RVF should take into consideration behavioral differences among communities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rift Valley fever (RVF), Mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic fever, Africa, RVF
Subjects: Others > Africa
Others > Kenya
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 03:37
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2017 08:27
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Authors are thankful to the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) for facilitating the study. We would like to acknowledge the communities of the study areas for their kind collaboration. We are also grateful to the enumerators. We sincerely thank Jackson Kimani of icipe's GIS support unit, for producing the map of the study area.
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