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Free Content Knowledge, attitudes and practice concerning tuberculosis in a growing industrialised area in Myanmar

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SETTING: Factories in industrial zones in Yangon, Myanmar, one of the 22 high tuberculosis (TB) burden countries.

OBJECTIVES: To assess workers' knowledge about TB, their health-seeking behaviour, acceptability of TB screening and predictors for approval of the dismissal of TB patients.

DESIGN: In a cross-sectional survey, structured interviews with 349 factory workers were followed by 27 in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions with employers.

RESULTS: Among 349 workers, 95% perceived TB as being curable, 50% correctly reported air as the main mode of transmission and 68% were aware of free treatment. Although 88% perceived screening before employment as necessary, only 14% underwent screening; 96% were willing to undergo contact screening for TB, but only 55% could afford it; 33% agreed with the dismissal of workers with TB, which was associated with lower education, shorter time in employment, not having a history of TB contact and unwillingness to work with an index TB case due to fear and lack of knowledge.

CONCLUSION: More effective communication strategies towards factory workers are needed to increase workers' knowledge about transmission and reduce stigma. Employers should be sensitised to protect employees with TB and invest in preventive activities.
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Keywords: health care seeking behaviour; knowledge; occupational health services; stigmatisation; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Clinical Research Division, Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Myanmar 2: Epidemiology Research Division, Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Myanmar 3: Department of Health, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar 4: National Tuberculosis Programme, Department of Health, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Publication date: 01 March 2012

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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