The survey used in this study assessed the community’s
declarative knowledge of the measles disease and vaccination by asking about
its symptoms and complications. Analysis of the demographic characteristics of
the participants in the present study showed that the majority of the sample
perceived to have intermediate knowledge in regards to Measles. Similar to
other studies conducted within the region1, participants (89.7%)
correctly identified that measles is much more common in children compared to
other age groups. Moreover, 88.1 % of the sample recognized that measles is a
very contagious infection. However, less than half of the participants (45.7%)
were able to distinguish the possibility of mortality associated with measles
infection. This shows parallelism with another study in which only 29.9% of the
participants recognized death as a complication of measles2.This signifies
the importance of raising awareness in regards to the complications and
fatalities attributed to this disease.
An extensive majority of the respondents were able to
identify typical non-specific symptoms of measles such as rash and fever.
However, very few could correctly recognize any further clinical features, or potential complications owing to the disease. They
perceived that lung infections and brain infections were not associated with
measles, 91.4 and 83.5 respectively. In comparison to another article2 ,
in which 10.4 % of their sample acknowledged pneumonia as a complication and 33.3%
of them recognized brain infection as a consequence. The results demonstrate
that there is clearly an underestimation of measles and that there is
limited knowledge of the disease among individuals and raises the question as
to whether they are sufficiently informed by their physicians about the disease.
There was a dilemma in
regards to the mode of transmission associated with measles. Almost Half of the
participants(48.4%) did not pick direct contact/touch as a form of transference.
Conversely, cough and sneeze were picked by 65.7% of the participants.
Moreover, 77.8 percent of the population were unaware of blood contamination
being a course of contamination. Concerned parents often look to friends and
family members as a source of information, rendering them susceptible to false
information. This reinforces the importance of the role of health care
providers as educators. Understanding a patient’s knowledge is likely to
facilitate communication and informed decisions making, ultimately leading to
Assessment of the parents’ knowledge in the current study showed
positive inclination to childhood immunization. The majority of them knew that
measles is a preventable and controllable disease. Following onto this point,
participants then recognized that immunization is the best preventative measure
for measles. This coincides with several studies in other parts of the world134.
Generally the administration of vaccines may be associated
with common local reactions like pain, swelling, and redness at the injection
site 6. The majority of the participants (79.7%) are aware of the
side effects caused by the vaccination most commonly being fever. Ina different
survey, nearly 20% of the interviewed participants considered an association
between vaccine administration and undesirable effects like allergies and
asthma. Hence, Parents must be educated about these side effects. Nnenna et al.
5 discovered that one of the recruited mothers disagreed to
continuing immunization should their own child suffer any adverse reaction.
While a large percentage of the participants (66.8%)
correctly acknowledged that measles vaccination has no significant correlation
to autism, a handful of respondents (29.4) were unable to reply. This
contributes to the fact that a large sector of the population have suboptimal
knowledge. This study showed a similar finding2.
The results of the present research revealed significant
association between educational level and knowledge and attitudes about Measles.
Higher educational level, of no doubt, aids individuals to understand the
educational messages. This finding coincides with the results of another
In conclusion, the present survey
showed that parents had good knowledge and positive attitudes on some aspects
related to Measles. However, some gaps were identified. It is important that health
groups and primary healthcare providers seek to address these concerns to minimize
the burden of non-immunizers on the community. Better means of public education
need to be developed. The findings suggest the need to organize information and
prevention campaigns. Well-oriented information and physician involvement are
key points that should be considered by policy-makers at the time of
vaccination campaigns. Education programmes that target paediatric
immunization, accessibility, and follow-up should be established and available
to the whole community.