Exploring public knowledge and attitude towards hepatitis B infection in Tripoli, Libya

Original article


Ehmadi MR 1, Gabr MH 2, Bisheya A 2, Abu-Kenda E 1

1-Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Fateh University. 2-Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tripoli Medical Centre, Tripoli, Libya

Libyan J Infect Dis. 2008;2(2):31-38


Aims: The aim of the present study was to assess the knowledge and attitude towards hepatitis-B among general population in Tripoli city, Libya, and their sources of information. A further aim was to assess whether people`s knowledge and attitude differ according to their demographic characteristics.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tripoli city from May 2004 up to August 2004. A structured questionnaire of 10 different sections concerning basic knowledge about hepatitis B, particularly modes of transmission and risk behaviors, natural history and sequels of infection, availability of preventive vaccine, and about their attitude towards the need for diet modification, and towards infected people. The questionnaire was distributed to 4000 person aged 18 years and older, of different educational levels. Data was analyzed using SPSS program.
Results: The study showed that the majority of respondents had correctly identified most of the routes and risk behaviors for HBV transmission; there was a big deficiency in their knowledge about the natural history and sequel of the disease. Their attitudes towards HBV and infected persons were improper. Talk with non medical personnel and television were the commonest sources of their information.
Conclusion: Despite the good HBV public knowledge about most of the routes and risk behaviors for HBV transmission, some important misconceptions in their knowledge and attitude need to be corrected. Nationwide health education programme is recommended.

Keywords: Attitude, Hepatitis B virus, Knowledge, Mode of transmission, Public education, Risk factors.

Link/DOI: http://www.nidcc-jid.org.ly/pdf/v2no2/original_article_exploring_public_knowledge.pdf