Toxoplasmosis-Related Knowledge and Preventive Practices among Undergraduate Female Students at An-Najah National University, Palestine

Waleed M. Sweileh, Diana S. Jodeh, Isra' S. Ruzieh

Abstract


Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonotic infectious disease that has serious health consequence in infected females. There is a scarcity of data about female's knowledge and perception of Toxoplasmosis in Arab world in general and in Palestine in particular. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess Toxoplasmosis related knowledge and preventive practices among undergraduate female students.

A cross-sectional, non-interventional, descriptive study design was used. A convenient sample of undergraduate females attending An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine were chosen. We used a previously published questionnaire to achieve the objectives of the study.

A total of 976 undergraduate university females aged 18-23 were recruited. About half of the female students (503; 51.5%) reported having ever heard, read or seen any information about Toxoplasmosis, and approximately (905; 92.7%) had never been tested for Toxoplasmosis. There was a lack of perception and insight about risk factors, symptoms, timing of infection, and preventive knowledge and practices regarding Toxoplasmosis. However, high rates of females reported a high level of hygienic practices including hand washing after dealing with cat litter, treating raw meat and gardening.

Our study showed inadequate knowledge about Toxoplasmosis among young females in Palestine. Awareness campaigns are needed to educate females in reproductive age about health consequences and preventive practices to avoid potential infection with Toxoplasmosis.


Keywords


Toxoplasmosis, Palestine, University female students, Knowledge, Practices.

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