KNOWLEDGE AND PREVENTION PRACTICES OF HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE AMONG PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS IN BANDAR PUNCAK ALAM, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is mainly caused by Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) and human Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71). Severe cases of HFMD were reported in Malaysia in 2018, which led to a temporary closing of few nurseries and preschools. A good knowledge and prevention practices is one of the important factors that can effectively decelerate this rapid outbreak of HFMD. Therefore, we conducted a survey to assess current knowledge and prevention practices among parents and caregivers in Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor. A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted on 345 residences of Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor. It comprised of 77.4% (n=267) parents and 22.6% (n=78) caregivers from different daycares, kindergartens and preschools. The study showed that the majority, 87.2% (n=301) of Bandar Puncak Alam residents, Selangor have a moderate level of knowledge on HFMD. No significant difference in knowledge was found between parents and caregivers (p = 0.553). Age, occupation, level of education, and income of respondents influenced the HFMD knowledge level (p<0.05). Most parents and caregivers know how to prevent HFMD by practising cleaning the children's toys using liquid disinfection, but they are still lacking knowledge on the role of handwashing in preventing HFMD. In conclusion, the lack of prevention practice among parents and caregivers would increase the cases of HFMD. Therefore, a proper education of HFMD should be done to increase the awareness towards the prevention practices to prevent HFMD from reoccurring.
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