Awareness and practice related to dengue infection among military cadets in Malaysia
Mohammad Wisman Abdul Hamid, Halyna Lugova, Aye Aye Mon, Victor Feizal Knight
Background: Dengue is among the world’s most emerging infections. The human behavior is largely overlooked to consider knowledge, attitude, and practice that could allow this infection to have a devastating impact on health. There is a lack of evidence on health behavior regarding dengue among military cadets, who will serve as role models and carriers of knowledge for the armed forces. Aim: The study was conducted to explore the awareness and preventive practice regarding dengue among military cadets in Malaysia. Methods: A crosssectional study was conducted in the National Defence University of Malaysia. Responses of self-administered structured questionnaire covering aspects of knowledge, attitude, and practices toward the dengue were obtained from 183 military cadets during health screening campaign. Results: Most of the respondents answered that a person with dengue may develop typical symptoms such as fever for 3-5 days (174, 95.1%), headache (169, 92.3%), joint pain (168, 91.8%), muscle pain (133, 72.7%), and rashes (138, 75.4%). The vast majority knew that dengue is transmitted by Aedes mosquito bites (179, 97.8%), mosquitos breed in clean stagnant water (155, 84.7%), and preventive measures include covering water containers (180, 98.4%), and cleaning garbage (173, 94.5%). Almost all perceived dengue as one of the most serious health problems (178, 97%) and felt that it requires prevention (168, 91.8%). About one-third always practiced wearing protective clothes (65, 35.5%), cut trees/vegetation around the house (65, 35.5%), used mosquito coils/liquids/vaporizers (62, 33.9%), electric fan (59, 32.2%), and mosquito bed net (50, 27.2%). A little portion always used insecticide spray (44, 24.0%), and window/doors screen (42, 23.0%). Conclusion: Better knowledge does not necessarily lead to better practice of dengue preventive measures. More emphasis must be given to educational campaigns for mosquito control practice among military cadets.