Rabies is a serious fatal disease and a public health problem in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to investigate knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) related to rabies and its prevention and control amongst households in Nekemte town and its surroundings. A cross-sectional study design was used. A multistage sampling procedure with simple random sampling technique was employed to select households. The data were obtained from 384 households through face to face interview using pretested and structured questionnaires. Statistical Packages for Social Sciences Windows version 16.0 was used for data analysis. Findings were described using descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Chi square was used to show the association between outcome (KAP) and explanatory variables. Out of 384 respondents interviewed, 59.9% were males and 40.1% females, and 33.6% were between 15 and 30 years old. The majority of the respondents (47.4%) were protestant. Over 38.4% of the participants owned domestic dogs and 97.4% knew that dog bites transmit rabies. 53.1% participants had good level of KAP, making this outcome strongly associated with sex (χ²=18.06, p<0.08), age (χ²=85.4, p<0.001) and educational level (χ²=336.99, p<0.001). These findings indicate that the Nekemte community has good knowledge on rabies. But more work is required to raise the community knowledge regarding ways of infection, symptoms identifications, treatment measures as well as appropriate prevention methods.
Key words: Rabies, Ethiopia, clinical signs, animal bites, post exposure prophylaxis, Nekemte.
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