Community Awareness and Attitudes towards Influenza Outbreak and Prevention in Serian, Sarawak

Rohaya Mohd Nor

Abstract


Introduction

To date, there has been no systematic research that investigates the rural community awareness and attitudes towards pandemic influenza H1N1 and its prevention measures in the context of Sarawak.
Objective There is also no systematic study about whether the initiatives to educate the public undertaken by the government and other agencies have empowered the rural communities to practice an effective self-care within the context of community, that assist to curb the potential spread of this disease.

Methods

Our research aims to address these limitations. In this paper, we report a survey finding about the awareness and attitudes of the Serian community with regard to this area of research interest. We also investigate the relevant sources of information that the community relies on in understanding about the influenza and how it can spread.

Results

Overall, the outcomes of the survey reveal that a majority of our respondents has a relatively low level of knowledge and awareness particularly about the characteristics of the illness and how H1N1 virus can transmit. With regard to prevention measures, a majority of them reported good understanding and awareness about the effective self-care practices that can help to curb the potential spread of the influenza.

Conclusions

The top five sources to obtain information about the influenza were: information from family, relatives, friends or neighbours; radio; TV; newspapers; and government health talk seminar or campaigns. The research outcomes can offer pragmatic contributions that can benefit the health campaigners and policy makers.

 


Keywords


Rural communities - Influenza - Pandemic outbreak - Sarawak.

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