Insight and educational intervention concerning hepatitis among roadside barbers and their clients in Karachi, Pakistan
Introduction: This study aimed to determine perceptions of hepatitis and make available an educational intervention session regarding the infection among roadside barbers and their clients.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study using convenience random sampling technique was conducted on all barbers and one each of their clients during January to June, 2011, in Karachi, Pakistan. After informed consent was taken and confidentiality ensured, respondents answered an anonymous questionnaire of closed-ended questions regarding hepatitis. The interview was followed by an educational intervention session. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.
Results: About 51% and 32% of the barbers and clients respectively had knowledge regarding hepatitis. Razors were recognized as agents for transmitting the infection by 12% and 42% of the barbers and clients respectively. Most (96%) barbers disinfected the razor before use and 49% of the clients confirmed that the razor was sterilized before shaving, while 79% insisted on new blade. Though 50% and 30% of the barbers and clients respectively knew that hepatitis is a preventable disease, only 2% and 7% of the respective barbers and clients were vaccinated against Hepatitis B. Reasons for not being vaccinated were non-awareness and cost of the HBV vaccine. Only half of the barbers and clients considered themselves to be at risk for hepatitis.
Conclusions: In Karachi, barbers and clients have poor knowledge of hepatitis and the means of transmissions, as well as low vaccination rates against HBV infection. Hence barbers and their clients must be educated about hepatitis and its prevention.