Introduction. Many efforts have been done to reduce leptospirosis infections in Malaysia especially among high risk groups including town service workers. Town service workers are more likely to be exposed to the leptospiral infection resulting from their occupational activities.
Methods. A cross sectional study was conducted in northeastern Malaysia involving 321 town service workers who were subjected to answer an interviewer-guided validated questionnaire which consists of sociodemographic, knowledge, attitude and practice information. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS Version 20.
Results. All of the respondents were Malay with mean (SD) age of 40.6 (10.28) years old. The mean (SD) duration of employment was 12.1 (9.62) years. Fifty four respondents (16.8%) had never heard of leptospirosis. Among the respondents, 215 (67.0%) of them had poor knowledge on leptospirosis. Meanwhile, 167 (52.0%) and only 128 (39.9%) of them had satisfactory attitude and practice respectively. It was found that knowledge on risk factors for leptospirosis was lacking. There were high risk attitudes such as drinking habit and protective equipment used during working with the favourable answers ranged from 67.3% to 89.1%. The weakest area identified in their practice was also on the use of protective equipment.
Conclusions. The workers’ level of knowledge and practice were relatively poor despite an overall good practice on leptospirosis. This finding might expose them to an increased risk of contracting leptospirosis. Identified weak areas in their knowledge, attitude and practice will assist the policy makers to develop a focused and well-directed intervention program on leptospirosis infection.
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