Gender differences in the knowledge of genetic disabilities and attitudes towards genetic counselling and testing in Zambia
Muzata, K.K., Walubita, G., Muzata, D., Sefotho, M.M., Mofu, M., & Chakulimba, O.
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In Zambia, there appears to be scarcity of information on genetic testing and counselling, and the services involved, to inform prospective parents of the need to make good decisions about having children. Literature shows that while there are many causes of disabilities, many other disabilities are carried through genetic transmission and if people were aware, they would reduce the chances of having a child with a disability that is genetically transmitted. This study was conducted to establish gender differences in the knowledge about and attitudes towards genetic testing and counselling among students in some tertiary education institutions in Zambia. The study adopted a survey design to collect data from respondents. One hundred and fifty seven (157) respondents from four tertiary institutions were recruited for the study by meansof stratified and simple random sampling. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences –SPSS version 16. Chi-square tests were used to compare gender differences. Three main findings were noted in the present study. First, no significant gender differences were observed among students regarding the knowledge and attitudes towards genetic testing and counselling. Second, although most of the respondents (N=95; 60%) had a positive attitude towards genetic testing and counselling, the majority (N=145; 92%) never visited the hospital to seek this service. Thirdly, some respondents did not know that diabetes mellitus II, muscular dystrophy and albinism were genetic diseases. The study established that knowledge about and attitude towards genetic testing and counselling was adequate. However, more sensitization on the types of genetic diseases that caused disabilities and the significance of genetic testing and counselling to students and families needed to be intensified through the public health system.
CitationMuzata, K.K., Walubita, G., Muzata, D., Sefotho, M.M., Mofu, M., & Chakulimba, O. (2020). Gender differences in the knowledge of genetic disabilities and attitudes towards genetic counselling and testing in Zambia. Journal of Educational Research on Children, Parents and Teachers, vol 1 (2), pp 90 - 103
Journal of Educational Research on Children, Parents and Teachers