Changes in knowledge and practices related to taeniasis/cysticercosis after health education in a south Indian community

A M Alexander, V R Mohan, J Muliyil, P Dorny, V Rajshekhar

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    A health education programme for taeniasis/cysticercosis was implemented and evaluated among schoolchildren and the general community in a rural block in southern India, an area that is endemic for cysticercosis. The baseline survey among 831 participants from three randomly selected villages showed poor knowledge regarding the spread of taeniasis and neurocysticercosis. There was also a lack of adequate hygiene and sanitation practices. Health education was given in these villages and in the schools located in these villages regarding the lifecycle of the pork tapeworm, spread of taeniasis and cysticercosis, and prevention of these conditions. The post-intervention test conducted 6 months later among 1060 participants revealed a 46% increase in the overall score of knowledge and practices. Awareness about the mode of spread of taeniasis and cysticercosis improved by almost 3 times and the reported practice of washing hands with soap and water before eating improved by 4.8 times and after using the toilet by 3.6 times. One person who reported the passage of tapeworm segments was confirmed to be a carrier of Taenia solium and was treated. The health education given on prevention of taeniasis and cysticercosis was useful in improving the knowledge and practices of the community and also in diagnosing taeniasis through self-reporting.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Health
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)164-169
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Helminthic diseases
    • Animal diseases
    • Zoonoses
    • Neurocysticercosis
    • Taeniasis
    • Taenia solium
    • Pigs
    • Control strategies
    • Prevention
    • Health education
    • Schoolchildren
    • Knowledge
    • Practices
    • Interventions
    • Health care seeking behavior
    • Evaluation
    • Rural
    • India
    • Asia-South


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