Document Type: Original Article
Tropical Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Health Education and Behavioral Science Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Introduction: More than one third of travelers to developing countries report health problems when traveling. The Egyptian Ministry of Health reports the occurrence of 400 cases of malarial infection yearly among Egyptian travelers. This article aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of Egyptian travelers towards infectious diseases, vaccination, and malaria chemoprophylaxis.
Methods: A survey was conducted at Cairo International Airport and included 1500 travelers. The questionnaire inquired about the travelers’ knowledge about infectious diseases at their destinations and their KAP regarding vaccination, malaria, and its prophylaxis.
Results: Most travelers (68%) had poor knowledge, specifically; 90.2%, 85.6%, 88.5% did not know the endemic diseases at their destinations, the modes of disease transmission, or the protective measures against disease, respectively. Knowledge about malaria prevalence, symptoms, modes of transmission, and prevention was good in only 18%, 29.8%, 6.7%, and 21.4% of travelers, respectively. Poor practice of malaria prophylactic measures was found in 66.3% of travelers. Although 91.3% did not receive any vaccination, the general attitude towards vaccination was good. The total travel health knowledge, practice, general attitude toward vaccination, and the perceived benefits of malarial prophylaxis scores were significantly correlated with older age and high socioeconomic level. Most of the studied travelers (90.4%) did not carry or use malaria chemoprophylaxis. Ignorance was the main barrier to receiving vaccines (65.3%) and to adherence to malaria chemoprophylaxis (88.3%).
Conclusion: Egyptian travelers have poor travel health knowledge and practices. Their knowledge and practice scores improve with older age, urban residence, and higher educational levels. They have a good attitude towards vaccination, and ignorance was the main barrier to sound practices.