Scratching Beneath the Surface: Assessing Medical Officers' Knowledge and Awareness of Scabies in Himachal Pradesh
Dr. Manish Kumar Sankhyan1, Dr. Neeta2 & Dr. Praveen Kumar Shukla3
1Dr. Manish Kumar Sankhyan, MD Dermatology, venereology and Leprosy, Medical officer specialist, Civil hospital SundernagarMandi HP INDIA 175017
2Dr. Neeta, MD Dermatology, venereology and Leprosy, Medical officer specialist, MGMSC Khaneri Rampur, Shimla HP INDIA 172001
3Dr. Praveen Kumar Shukla, MD Dermatology, venereology and Leprosy, Senior Resident YS Parmar, Govt. Medical College Nahan, HP INDIA 173001
Dr. Praveen Kumar Shukla
Article History: | Received: 20.08.2023 | Accepted: 25.08.2023 | Published: 28.08.2023|
Abstract: Background: Scabies is a highly contagious parasitic skin infestation caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis and remains a significant global public health concern, especially in low-resource settings. Medical officers play a crucial role in identifying and managing scabies cases, making their knowledge and awareness critical in combating the disease effectively. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 400 medical officers working in Himachal Pradesh to evaluate their knowledge and awareness regarding scabies. A structured questionnaire was used to assess their understanding of clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities, and preventive measures for scabies. Data were analyzed using Epi Info V7 software, and knowledge levels were categorized as very good, good, fair, or poor. Results: The majority of medical officers demonstrated good knowledge regarding the etiology and clinical presentation of scabies, with 83.75% correctly identifying its cause and 89% describing typical skin lesions and intense itching. However, only 47.25% understood the pathophysiology of scabies infestation. Knowledge of diagnostic criteria and recommended treatment was satisfactory (74.5% and 80.5%, respectively), but only 43.25% recognized the importance of contact tracing in scabies control. Overall, 28.5% had very good knowledge, 40% had good knowledge, 21.75% had fair knowledge, and 9.75% had poor knowledge regarding scabies. Conclusion: Medical officers in Himachal Pradesh exhibited good knowledge and awareness of scabies, but certain areas showed room for improvement. Enhancing knowledge in these specific domains through targeted educational interventions can aid in early diagnosis and effective management of scabies, ultimately reducing the disease burden in the region and similar epidemiological contexts.
Keywords: Scabies, medical officers, knowledge, awareness, Himachal Pradesh.