Anthrax, a zoonotic disease with worldwide distribution, is endemic and enzootic in Haiti. Hyper-endemic areas exist and regional outbreaks occur sporadically throughout the country. The number of cases of human cutaneous anthrax reported in a rural area of central Haiti has increased in the last several years. A cross-sectional questionnaire was developed to ascertain livestock owners' knowledge of anthrax and analyzed for potential risk factors and intervention strategies. Results of this survey indicate that a lack of knowledge of the signs, symptoms and transmission of anthrax may be contributing to an increase in human cases. Survey results have been reported back to the Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti for use in community planning. Educational materials have been prepared for villagers on the signs and symptoms of anthrax in humans and animals, along with a brochure explaining anthrax in humans and animals in more detail. Many interrelated factors are implicated in the rise of human anthrax in Haiti, which correlate with an increase in livestock cases. Potential factors include: increased and improved transportation between formerly isolated villages; economic, ecological and climatalogical changes; butchering practices and carcass disposal methods. Selection of animal species vaccinated for anthrax may also be a factor, as well as the lack of booster vaccination and use of traditional medicine/healers. This study suggests that lack of knowledge of anthrax signs, symptoms, and transmission may be an important contributing factor to its increased incidence over the past several years.
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
©2004 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
"Anthrax in a Highly Endemic Area: Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs among Haitian Livestock Owners and Follow-Up Public Health Practice,"
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities, 3(1), 47-62.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ijghhd/vol3/iss1/6