International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: August | Volume: 8 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 231-241

Tailored Communications via Social Media in Tackling Zika and Dengue Infections: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study Among General Public Attending a Public Hospital in Malaysia

Monica Danial1,*, Sivasangari Subramaniam1,*, Chee Kin Yoon 2,*,**, Loke Meng Ong3,*,**

1Research Officer, 2Medical Specialist, 3Head of Medical Department & Head of CRC
*Clinical Research Center (CRC) Penang General Hospital, 10450 Jalan Residensi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, **Medical Department Penang General Hospital, 10450 Jalan Residensi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Corresponding Author: Monica Danial


Introduction: Over the last few decades, several studies have analyzed and described knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of populations regarding Aedes mosquitoes. However, few studies have described the possibilities of utilizing social media in instilling positive attitudes and practices in curbing Aedes mosquitos’ infections.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among voluntary participation of 400 respondents attending Penang General Hospital, Malaysia. The targeted respondents were mobile phone users. Those whom agreed to participate in this survey were provided with self-administered questionnaires.
Results: From this study, it can be established that majority of the respondents own smart-phone-tablets (88%) and uses social media (87%) which is pivotal for communication. Most commonly used social media types are WhatsApp (82%) and Facebook (78%) applications. Furthermore, owners of smartphone/tablet were keen to obtain information on Aedes mosquitoes (p<0.001) and have indicated their preference to be alerted via social media applications (p<0.001). As to conclude, social media will be an important tool in eradication of the Aedes mosquitoes.
Conclusion: Continuous and repetitive information dissemination utilizing social media applications on information, implications, effects, and ways to curb Aedes infections may help in instilling positive attitudes and practices among the public.

Key words: Aedes mosquitoes; Zika; Dengue; Smartphones; Social media; Repetitive information .

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