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Preliminary assessment of the computer-based Taenia solium educational program ‘The Vicious Worm’ on knowledge uptake in primary school students in rural areas in eastern Zambia

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Abstract
Objective: The zoonotic helminth Taenia solium is endemic in Zambia, causing human (taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis) and pig (porcine cysticercosis) diseases with high health, social and economic burdens. We aimed to evaluate the impact of a health educational program intended to lead to powerful and cumulative improvements in knowledge, attitudes and practices that decrease parasite transmission and disease occurrence. Methods: Half-day health education workshops were conducted in three primary schools in the highly endemic Eastern Province of Zambia, using the computer-based T. solium educational program The Vicious Worm'. Questionnaires were administered before and after the educational component to determine the program's impact on knowledge uptake in primary school students. Results: In total, 99 students participated: 38 males and 61 females, with a median age of 14 years (range 10-18 years). Baseline general knowledge of T. solium, including awareness of the different human and pig disease states, and disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, was quite high (average score 62%) and consistent across all three study areas. Participants' knowledge had significantly increased after the educational component, particularly regarding parasite transmission and disease prevention. Conclusion: Preliminary assessment of The Vicious Worm' indicates it is an effective tool for the short-term T. solium education of primary school students in Zambia. Follow-up studies are planned to assess the longer term impact of the program on knowledge uptake in the study neighbourhoods. Inclusion of tailored The Vicious Worm' educational workshops should be considered in integrated cysticercosis control programs in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Keywords
disease control, health education, One Health, Taenia solium, taeniasis, cysticercosis, Zambia, HEALTH-EDUCATION, PORCINE CYSTICERCOSIS, INTERVENTION, PREVALENCE, COMMUNITY, TAENIASIS/CYSTICERCOSIS, NEUROCYSTICERCOSIS, PRAZIQUANTEL, TANZANIA, EFFICACY

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Citation

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Chicago
Hobbs, Emma, Kabemba Evans Mwape, Inge Van Damme, Dirk Berkvens, Gideon Zulu, Moses Mambwe, Mwelwa Chembensofu, et al. 2018. “Preliminary Assessment of the Computer-based Taenia Solium Educational Program ‘The Vicious Worm’ on Knowledge Uptake in Primary School Students in Rural Areas in Eastern Zambia.” Tropical Medicine & International Health 23 (3): 306–314.
APA
Hobbs, E., Mwape, K. E., Van Damme, I., Berkvens, D., Zulu, G., Mambwe, M., Chembensofu, M., et al. (2018). Preliminary assessment of the computer-based Taenia solium educational program “The Vicious Worm” on knowledge uptake in primary school students in rural areas in eastern Zambia. TROPICAL MEDICINE & INTERNATIONAL HEALTH, 23(3), 306–314.
Vancouver
1.
Hobbs E, Mwape KE, Van Damme I, Berkvens D, Zulu G, Mambwe M, et al. Preliminary assessment of the computer-based Taenia solium educational program “The Vicious Worm” on knowledge uptake in primary school students in rural areas in eastern Zambia. TROPICAL MEDICINE & INTERNATIONAL HEALTH. 2018;23(3):306–14.
MLA
Hobbs, Emma, Kabemba Evans Mwape, Inge Van Damme, et al. “Preliminary Assessment of the Computer-based Taenia Solium Educational Program ‘The Vicious Worm’ on Knowledge Uptake in Primary School Students in Rural Areas in Eastern Zambia.” TROPICAL MEDICINE & INTERNATIONAL HEALTH 23.3 (2018): 306–314. Print.
@article{8544844,
  abstract     = {Objective: The zoonotic helminth Taenia solium is endemic in Zambia, causing human (taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis) and pig (porcine cysticercosis) diseases with high health, social and economic burdens. We aimed to evaluate the impact of a health educational program intended to lead to powerful and cumulative improvements in knowledge, attitudes and practices that decrease parasite transmission and disease occurrence. 
Methods: Half-day health education workshops were conducted in three primary schools in the highly endemic Eastern Province of Zambia, using the computer-based T. solium educational program The Vicious Worm'. Questionnaires were administered before and after the educational component to determine the program's impact on knowledge uptake in primary school students. 
Results: In total, 99 students participated: 38 males and 61 females, with a median age of 14 years (range 10-18 years). Baseline general knowledge of T. solium, including awareness of the different human and pig disease states, and disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, was quite high (average score 62\%) and consistent across all three study areas. Participants' knowledge had significantly increased after the educational component, particularly regarding parasite transmission and disease prevention. 
Conclusion: Preliminary assessment of The Vicious Worm' indicates it is an effective tool for the short-term T. solium education of primary school students in Zambia. Follow-up studies are planned to assess the longer term impact of the program on knowledge uptake in the study neighbourhoods. Inclusion of tailored The Vicious Worm' educational workshops should be considered in integrated cysticercosis control programs in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa.},
  author       = {Hobbs, Emma and Mwape, Kabemba Evans and Van Damme, Inge and Berkvens, Dirk and Zulu, Gideon and Mambwe, Moses and Chembensofu, Mwelwa and Phiri, Isaac Khozozo and Masuku, Maxwell and Bottieau, Emmanuel and Devleesschauwer, Brecht and Speybroeck, Niko and Colston, Angela and Dorny, Pierre and Willingham, Arve Lee and Gabri{\"e}l, Sarah},
  issn         = {1360-2276},
  journal      = {TROPICAL MEDICINE \& INTERNATIONAL HEALTH},
  keyword      = {disease control,health education,One Health,Taenia solium,taeniasis,cysticercosis,Zambia,HEALTH-EDUCATION,PORCINE CYSTICERCOSIS,INTERVENTION,PREVALENCE,COMMUNITY,TAENIASIS/CYSTICERCOSIS,NEUROCYSTICERCOSIS,PRAZIQUANTEL,TANZANIA,EFFICACY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {306--314},
  title        = {Preliminary assessment of the computer-based Taenia solium educational program {\textquoteleft}The Vicious Worm{\textquoteright} on knowledge uptake in primary school students in rural areas in eastern Zambia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13029},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2018},
}

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