Thalassemia awareness among Iraqi people in 2018
Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive disease that is common in Iraq with a prevalence of 35.7 per 100,000. It is the most common type of hereditary anemia registered in 2015. It is a life-threatening condition with many complications which if not managed could cause death in early age. This study aimed to assess the awareness of Iraqi people about thalassemia transmission and prevention and to find their source of information about the disease, as developing good awareness is the first and the most advantageous road to establish a successful prevention program. This cross-sectional study involved 417 participants who were from medical and non-medical fields. It was conducted as an online survey in addition to participants interview using a self-structured questionnaire which was tested for content and face validity, unidimensionality and test-retest reliability in a pilot study of 40 participants. Each participant who had heard about the disease was given a score (0-5) based on their knowledge: 68.8% of the people had heard about the disease previously, those had a mean score of 3 out of 5; 84% claimed that thalassemia is a noncommunicable disease which resembles the highest awareness aspect. The lowest one was about the preventability of the disease. Significant correlation was found between the score of awareness and the age. People awareness about thalassemia was relatively good. A control strategy should be directed to elevate the awareness level about thalassemia in the community with the application of the national program for thalassemia control.
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