Knowledge and practice of pediatricians in Kenya regarding helicobacter pylori infection in children.
Date of Award
Master of Medicine (MMed)
Dr Rose Kamenwa
Dr. Waceke Ng’ang’a
Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)
Background: Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common chronic bacterial infections. It affects more than half of the world’s population and is frequently associated with peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma and other extra gastrointestinal manifestations. Globally, one third of the children are infected with the highest burdens observed in low and middle income countries. In Kenya the prevalence stands at 87% among school going children and 50% in children under three years.
Justification: Studies in high income countries suggest poor knowledge and practice amongst physicians with limited data from Africa. There exists conflicting information regarding the pathogenic role and the management approach to H pylori in children. Paediatricians play a key role in education and advocacy in child health. It is therefore important to assess their knowledge and practice regarding management of childhood H pylori.
Objectives: To evaluate the level of knowledge and practice of Kenyan Paediatricians regarding H pylori infection in children. To determine the factors influencing knowledge and practice regarding H pylori infection among paediatricians in Kenya.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross sectional study. All paediatricians registered under the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), were eligible for the study. The estimated minimum sample size required for the study was 220. An online questionnaire from a similar study was adopted with permission to reuse. The questionnaire had 13 items inclusive of data on demographic characteristics as well as questions on knowledge and practice.
Results: A total of 217 paediatricians out of 413 contacted completed the questionnaire (53% response rate). Two thirds of the respondents scored less than 50% in both knowledge and practice. Paediatricians performed better in areas assessing knowledge compared to those that assessed practice. Paediatricians who had ever attended CME activity on H pylori were 16 times more likely to have good knowledge and practice scores. (P<0.001, OR16.66; 95%CI: 7.66-38.89)
Conclusions: This study showed that paediatricians overall had poor knowledge and practice regarding childhood H pylori. It also highlighted that having attended CME activity on childhood H pylori was associated with higher scores in knowledge and practice. There is need to develop innovative educational initiatives to improve paediatricians’ knowledge on H pylori in order to improve practice and patients’ outcomes.
Nzinga, A. M. (2022). Knowledge and practice of pediatricians in Kenya regarding helicobacter pylori infection in children. (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, East Africa.