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Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practices of Ministry of Health Physicians towards surveillance system in Dakhliyah region in Oman.


The surveillance of infectious diseases has recently assumed greater importance because of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and because strains of pathogens causing TB, malaria, cholera, dysentery, and pneumonia have developed resistance to antibiotics. These contagious diseases draw attention to the need for an active disease surveillance system. This study addressed the issue of evaluating knowledge, attitude and practices of Ministry of Health (MOH) physicians inDakhliyah region in Sultanate of Oman towards the surveillance system.


This is a cross sectional, descriptive, self-administered question-based survey, that was conducted at regional level, involving all the ministry of health facilities in Dakhliyah region, Oman, and including all MOH physicians working in notifying disease in Governmental Primary Health Care Centers (PHCC's), polyclinics and hospitals in the region over the month of November 2011. After taking the median score, a score of 5 and above was considered acceptable level of knowledge while a score of less than 5 was considered unacceptable.


A total of 233 physicians were included in this study, 64.8% of them were male, 48.5% in the age group 36 - 45 years, and 78.5% were non Omani. Of all participating physicians, 56.7% had 1-5 years experience in the health field in Sultanate of Oman; only 85.4% had good knowledgeabout the definition and components of the surveillance system, and only 22.7% had good knowledgeof the correct time for notification. 49.8% of participating physicians agreed that the case definition in the surveillance system was clear, 47.6% agreed that the operating surveillance system was good, 62.2% agreed that the notifiable diseases were sufficient; only 3.4% had attended training courses in surveillance system, and 47.6% reported never receiving any feedback. There were statistically significant differences in knowledge about surveillance and knowledge of the notifiable diseases between physicians according to their different characteristics.


This study showed that the knowledge of disease notification among doctors working in MOH hospitals, polyclinic and PHCCs was poor, which can affect disease surveillance. The training and retraining of physicians on disease notification, and regular feedback on diseases reported is recommended in order to improve the disease surveillance system. Increasing awareness among all health care professionals, patient's health education about the importance of their cooperation, clear written manuals including clear written control measures, simple, short and readily accessible forms, all should be ensured to improve reporting.