Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding travel health among Muscat International Airport travelers in Oman: Identifying the gaps and addressing the challenges.J Epidemiol Glob Health. 2016 06; 6(2):67-75.JE
Although the majority of travel-associated communicable diseases can be prevented, the public health burden of these diseases remains significant. Relatively little is known about how travelers know and perceive the health risks associated with travel and how they utilize preventive measures before and while traveling abroad. This study was conducted to determine the level of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of Muscat International Airport travelers about travel health in order to assess the knowledge gap and the need for travel health services in Oman. A cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of 1week using a self-administered questionnaire. The overall level of knowledge about vaccine-preventable diseases, food safety, and preventive measures against insect bites of the participants was inadequate. The practice concerning preventive travel health measures, such as the use of specific immunizations and antimalarial prophylaxis, was very limited, and influenced by some personal and travel-related factors. The inadequate level of travelers' knowledge and poor utilization of travel medicine services highlights the need for the provisions of specialized travel medicine services at the national level and to develop educational materials promoting the importance of pre-travel health advice.