Tuberculosis knowledge, misconceptions/myths: findings from Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia

2 March, 2019

Dear HIFA and HIFA-Zambia colleagues,

'Patients with good knowledge of TB are likely to seek treatment early and adhere to treatment thus reducing ongoing transmission in the community', say the authors of this study. 'All the programs need to develop information for dissemination to help patients understand the facts on about TB transmission and control and reduce the risk of development of tuberculosis drug resistance and delayed diagnosis/treatment leading to enhanced disease transmissions and increased severity respectively.'

Citation and abstract below, Full text here:

CITATION: Tuberculosis knowledge, misconceptions/myths in adults: findings from Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia Demographic Health Surveys (2013–2016)

Godfrey MusukaEmail author, Vonai Teveredzi, Farirai Mutenherwa, Innocent Chingombe and Munyaradzi Mapingure

BMC Research Notes 2018;11:778


Objective: To determine TB knowledge and misconceptions/myths amongst HIV positive and negative adults using Demographic Health Survey data from Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia.

Results: Overall 97% (n = 58,107) of both male and female respondents irrespective of their HIV status had heard of tuberculosis out of whom 82.6% knew that it can be cured. Knowledge that TB is spread in air when coughing or sneezing was 73.8%. Significantly higher proportions of HIV positive men and women than their HIV negative counterparts, had ever heard about TB, knew that it is transmitted through air when coughing and sneezing and also that it can be cured. However interestingly, significantly higher proportions of HIV positive men and women, than their HIV negative counterparts, had the misconception that TB is spread through sharing utensils or would overall say they did not know how it is spread. TB knowledge was significantly higher among individuals who are less than 26 years of age compared to those who were older.


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Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children:

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: