Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding leprosy and tuberculosis in Bangladesh.
A small survey was carried out in two areas of northern Bangladesh to assess and compare the level of knowledge, attitude and practice towards leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) among two communities that differed widely in the amount of health education received about these diseases. The results indicate that without a health education programme, levels of knowledge about the cause and treatability of the diseases are poor, worse for leprosy than TB, with correspondingly negative attitudes. Only 16% of the respondents in the 'uninformed' area mentioned 'skin patch' in a question about what they knew about leprosy; and only 44% mentioned 'cough' as a symptom of TB. In the area that had received health education, 90% mentioned, respectively, 'skin patch' and 'cough'. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents would not buy goods from a shopkeeper known to have leprosy, 76% if he had TB in the uninformed area; but in the community who had received health education the proportions were reversed, with three-quarters agreeing to purchase from a diseased shopkeeper. The implications of these findings for the DBLM and National Health Education programmes are discussed.