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Open Access Tuberculosis knowledge and awareness in tribal-dominant districts of Jharkhand, India: implications for ACSM

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Setting: Forty hard-to-reach villages in the East and West Singhbhum Districts of Jharkhand State, India.

Objectives: To document knowledge and awareness of tuberculosis (TB) among the general population, understand gender differences and inform intervention activities for the improvement of TB control programmes in tribal-dominant hard-to-reach areas in India.

Design: A cross-sectional community-based survey was carried out among 825 respondents using population proportionate sampling.

Results: Most of the respondents were in the 18–35 years age group, tribal and married; 44% were illiterate. The study shows poor knowledge about TB symptoms, causes, modes of transmission and moderate awareness about government TB services. Correct knowledge about the cause of TB was negligible: half of the respondents reported local liquor as the cause, 61% considered TB as transmissible and one third considered sharing of food as the mode of transmission. Awareness about the availability of free treatment services at government health facilities was high, but awareness about DOTS was low. Significant gender differences were observed in knowledge and awareness levels.

Conclusion: Study findings point to the importance of urgent intensification of culturally congruent and gender-sensitive advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities.
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Keywords: India; Jharkhand; TB ACSM; community mobilisation; tribal health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Maharashtra Association of Anthropological Sciences—Centre for Health Research and Development, Pune, India 2: Alternative for India Development, India, Jamshedpur, India 3: Target Tuberculosis, Brighton, United Kingdom

Publication date: September 21, 2014

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