Knowledge, attitude and practices on rabies and socio-economic value of dog keeping in Kisumu and Siaya counties, Kenya
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Rabies is endemic in all counties of Kenya. This study describes community knowledge, attitudes and practices that may influence the incidence and control of the disease. Semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were used in the study. A total of 351 residents were interviewed. Majority of owned dogs were free to roam and scavenge. Over 90% of the respondents were aware of the disease, its zoonotic nature and the importance of the domestic dog in its transmission. Although over 75% of respondents in both counties would seek conventional medical treatment after an animal bite, 16.6% of respondents in Kisumu considered traditional treatment as their first line of action after an animal bite. Most of the respondents were not aware of any home level action after an animal bite. Rabies awareness was high in both counties but only 20.4% and 19.1% of the households in Kisumu and Siaya respectively had vaccinated their dogs. Children and women played a major role in rabies prevention and control. Schools proved to be the most common source of information. The knowledge gaps and negative practices identified by this study show the need for public awareness and sensitization on rabies. This will impart positive attitude on the best practices towards control of the disease.
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