Economic and Social Perspective of Disease Literacy: A Guide for Policy Makers
Keywords:Public expenditures, Income level, Disease literacy, Hepatitis, HIV, TB, Mass media exposure
The economic burden in terms of total expenditures on communicable diseases has increased in Pakistan due to the high incidence rate. It is evident from the literature that the main reason for the high incidence of communicable diseases is a lack of awareness and knowledge. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the awareness level of the public regarding the transmission of three major diseases: Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis B & C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Pakistan. This study used the data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) conducted in 2018. Bivariate and multinomial logistic regression has been performed to analyze the data to find the associated factors of knowledge of transmission of all three diseases. The literacy about the aforementioned communicable diseases was found to be adversely associated with respondents’ low education level, people living in rural areas, low-income quintiles, and low exposure to mass media etc. Results reveal that awareness levels about all three diseases are highest in the richest income quintile in all four provinces, in both men and women. People with access to television and the internet were found to be more knowledgeable about tuberculosis and hepatitis transmission as compared to those who did not have access to these mass media sources. In the case of knowledge of transmission of HIV/AIDS among respondents, the mass media exposure did not reflect a good picture. Based on the survey results, it is suggested that there is an urgent need to launch an awareness campaign to raise awareness about the transmission of tuberculosis and hepatitis, with a special focus on the lowest income group. To enhance the knowledge of transmission of HIV/AIDS, face-to-face personalized communication would be a better option.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Asima Ihsan, Shahid Adil, Sobia Rose, Novaira Junaid, Ume Farwa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.