Table of Contents
ISRN Preventive Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 364647, 9 pages
Research Article

Parental Perceptions of Giardiasis: A Study in an Outpatient Paediatric Hospital Setting in Havana, Cuba

1Department of Epidemiology, Municipal Centre of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, Calle 8 No. 406 Esquina a 19, Vedado, 10400 La Habana, Cuba
2Department of Gastro-enterology, Nutrition and Parasitology, Academic Paediatric Hospital “Pedro Borrás”, Calle F No. 616 Esquina 27, Vedado, 10400 La Habana, Cuba
3Department of Child Health, National Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, Calle Infanta No. 1158 Esquina a Llinas, Cerro, 10300 La Habana, Cuba
4Department of Child Health, Faculty of Medicine “Comandante Manuel Fajardo”, Calle D esquina a Zapata, Vedado, 10400 La Habana, Cuba
5Gastro-intestinal unit, Department of Paediatrics, Academic Paediatric Hospital “Centro Habana”, Benjumeda y Morales, Cerro, 10600 La Habana, Cuba
6Department of Infectious diseases, Institute of Infectious Diseases “Emilio Ribas”, Rua Zacarias de Gois, 966/41 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 20 September 2012; Accepted 30 October 2012

Academic Editors: B. Bonfoh, C. Mbogo, and H. Rashid

Copyright © 2013 Pedro Almirall et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Giardia lamblia is an important cause of diarrhoeal disease throughout the world. Giardiasis— a mild and self-limiting disease that this protozoan causes— is perceived as a harmful disease. Aim. To explore the general level of awareness about giardiasis, clinical features, mode of transmission, prevention, and consequences and describe the sources and channels of information caregivers would prefer using to be informed about this disease. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among caregivers attending to the outpatient paediatric hospital setting in Havana. Results. A total of 202 caregivers were interviewed. Nearly 73% considered giardiasis as a modern problem, and 39% considered that it could be a fatal disease. Although 76.7% were aware that small intestine is the organ affected, other localizations were cited. Abdominal pain and diarrhoea were recognized as the commonest symptoms. Around one-third could identify that giardiasis may spread through drinking unboiled water and unwashed vegetables other incorrect ways were mentioned; respondents with more than 12 years of formal education were more likely to have better knowledge. Discussion. Strategies to control giardiasis need to be through an integrated approach aiming at boosting caregivers’ knowledge and encouraging healthcare workers to act as a readily available source for health information.