Awareness of varicella-zoster virus among undergraduate students at the University of Namibia
Accepted: 20 April 2022
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Although varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is preventable and curable, the disease remains a public health problem in Namibia. Access to vaccination in the country remains a challenge for many citizens including students. No previous study has been conducted to assess awareness on the prevention and control of VZV in Namibia.
The overall purpose of the study was to investigate the awareness of hostel students on prevention and control measures for VZV in Namibia.
The objective of the study was to assess and describe the awareness of hostel students on the prevention and control measures for VZV in Namibia.
A quantitative descriptive study using an online questionnaire was used. Simple random sampling was used to select 165 respondents. Descriptive statistics and a non-parametric Kruskal Wallis test were performed to test the mean differences between variables and the significance of the data.
A great proportion of the respondents, 70.7% (n=118), were aware that VZV is caused by a virus (0.71±0.45) while 76% (n=127) (0.76±0.42) were aware that VZV can be vaccinated against. The study found a strong association between aetiology (p=0.03), available information (p=0.00), mode of transmission (p=0.23), and knowledge on contagious diseases (p=0.03).
The results were inconclusive as to whether the level of awareness is high or low, owing to the differences in scores for each variable.
The study recommends that a mobile clinic be established on campus to offer health education information.
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