The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-4
Bioline Code: hn16002
Full paper language: English
Document type: Report
Document available free of charge
The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-4
© Copyright 2016 - The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
What is cholera? A preliminary study on caretakers’ knowledge in Bangladesh|
Tamason, Charlotte C.; Tulsiani, Suhella M.; Siddique, A. K.; Hoque, Bilqis A. & Jensen, Peter K. Mackie
Background: Cholera has afflicted the Indian sub-continent for centuries, predominantly in West Bengal and
modern-day Bangladesh. This preliminary study aims to understand the current level of knowledge of cholera in
female Bangladeshi caretakers, which is important in the outcome of the disease and its spread. A pilot study was
conducted among 85 women in Bangladesh using qualitative questionnaires to explore the ability of female
caretakers in identifying cholera and its transmission.
Findings: The survey revealed that though all the female caretakers were aware of the term “cholera,” nearly a third of
the respondents did not associate diarrhea with cholera or mentioned symptoms that could not be caused by cholera
(29 %). Approximately half of the respondents associated water with the cause of cholera (56 %) and only 8 % associated
cholera with sanitation or hygiene. Shame and stigma (54 %) were more commonly described than death (47 %)
as negative effects of cholera.
Conclusions: The results from this study are suggestive of a need for reformulation of cholera and diarrhea
communication. Messaging should be based on signs of dehydration, foregoing the use of medical terminology.
Bangladesh; Cholera; Diarrhea; Qualitative research; Social stigma
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