The Awareness of Health Professionals in Diagnostic Techniques for Intestinal Parasites in Gaza Strip, Palestine

Author(s): Hindi AI

Background: Diagnosis of intestinal parasites still depends on conventional methods in Gaza strip hospitals and private laboratories. Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the opinion and the practice of physicians and medical laboratories technologists towards the diagnosis of intestinal parasites in Gaza strip. Subjects and Methods: The study was carried out during the period from August 2006 to December 2006. All the subjects during this period were eligible for the interview. The sample size included 371 individuals out of them 270 physicians and 101 medical laboratory technologists (MLTs). Simple random sampling was used to select the physicians and MLTs from eight hospitals and eleven primary health‑care centers. Results: It was found that (57.8%) 156/270 of physicians depend on the direct smear microscopy in the diagnosis of intestinal parasites in Gaza, compared to (31.7% (32/101) of MLT. Knowledge about the possible correlation of occult blood with reasons other than the presence of intestinal parasites was evident among both physicians and MLTs, reaching over 80% (P = 0.08). It was found that (54.4%, 147/270) of physicians and (73.3%. 74/101) of MLTs depend on wet mount result for of Entamoeba histolytica diagnosis (P = 0.01). Conclusion: Low awareness was found among both physicians and MLT regarding the diagnostic techniques used in the examination of intestinal parasites in Gaza Strip. Prescription of medicine by physicians sometimes depends on the clinical picture without laboratory confirmation. Advanced techniques were less used in the diagnosis of intestinal parasites in Gaza strip.


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