Awareness of Dengue Fever among the Urban Youth in Colombo and its Suburbs, Sri Lanka in November 2014
The study was conducted to assess the knowledge regarding dengue infection that the laymen should have specifically in facing the consequences that comes after acquiring the infection. Dengue fever is a serious disease condition going on in Sri Lanka which is transmitted by carrier mosquitos Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. According to the epidemiology unit of health ministry Sri Lanka, 57.82% out of 23,355 cases reported in the year 2014 by July are from the western province. In this research dengue awareness among young people in Colombo and its suburbs, especially after acquiring the infection is assessed, in November 2014. The objective of this study was to assess the dengue awareness and knowledge that the laymen should have especially in facing the events that comes after acquiring the infection, among the youth in Colombo and its suburbs. A descriptive study was done on 150 individuals residing in Colombo and its suburbs within the age range of 16-25 years using a simple online questionnaire, which was provided to the participants via a popular online social network. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistics. Though 90% of the participants knew common signs and symptoms of fever, only 48% knew the specific symptoms of dengue fever. 66% knew that the same set of drugs given for general body aches cannot be given in dengue fever. The only satisfactory result obtained was that 86% knew blood tests are done to detect dengue. Though only 16% of the participants had sufficient knowledge on contra indicated food, 66% knew the reasons for the contra indication, showing the overall knowledge in contraindicated food is poor. Only 32% had a clear idea on the popular indigenous practice of papaya leaf extracts as a treatment, that is there is only a possibility of curing dengue. 86% knew that some official should be informed when there is an infection going on in an area, other than hospitalization, while only 52% knew where and whom to inform. The study revealed that the urban youth in Sri Lanka lacks sufficient awareness and knowledge that they should have in facing the events that comes after acquiring the infection.
Keywords- Dengue awareness, post infection practices, Sri Lanka, urban youth