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Self-reported gender differentials in the knowledge of tuberculosis transmission and curative possibility using national representative data in Ghana
Authors: Michael Boah, Mary Rachael Kpordoxah, and Martin Nyaaba Adokiya
Source: PLOS ONE , 16(7); DOI:
Topic(s): Gender
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2021
Abstract: Health-seeking behaviour, stigma, and discrimination towards people affected by tuberculosis (TB) are influenced by awareness of the disease. Gender differentials in the diagnosis and treatment of TB have been reported in other settings of the world. However, little is known about the gender differences in the knowledge of TB transmission and curative possibility in Ghana. The analysed data were a weighted sample of 9,396 women aged 15–49 years and 4,388 men aged 15–59 years, obtained from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. The dependent variable, correct knowledge regarding TB transmission and cure was derived from questions on the transmission of the disease and the possibility of a cure. A design-based multivariate logistic regression model in Stata 13.0/SE was used to identify the correlates of reporting correct knowledge. Overall, the mean knowledge score was 6.1±0.9 (maximum = 7). Of the 13,784 respondents, 45.7% (95% CI: 44.0–47.3) reported correct knowledge regarding TB transmission and cure. Men had significantly higher knowledge than women (50.9% versus 43.2%). Misconceptions, including TB transmitted through sharing utensils (13.3%), food (6.9%), touching a person with TB (4.5%), sexual contact (4.1%), and mosquito bites (0.4%) were noted. About 30% (33% women and 25% men) of the total sample would keep the information secret when a household member is affected with TB. In the adjusted analysis, age, gender, education, region, place of residence, wealth quintile, frequency of reading newspaper/magazine, listening to the radio, and watching television were significantly associated with reporting correct knowledge. There was low knowledge regarding TB transmission and cure. Misconceptions regarding the transmission of TB prevailed among the participants. Gender differential in knowledge was observed. Comparatively, females were less likely to be aware of TB and report correct knowledge regarding TB transmission but were more likely to conceal information when a household member was affected by the disease.