A Knowledge and Practices study of health hazards among animal handlers in zoological gardens

Authors

  • Anjali Bagaria University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University
  • Arun Kumar Sharma University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/ijosh.v4i1.9146

Keywords:

Animal Handlers, Knowledge, Practices, Zoonotic diseases, Tuberculosis

Abstract

Background- Close association with animals makes zookeepers a high risk group for suffering from various zoonotic diseases. Thus, it is important that they are able to protect themselves from these diseases and injuries through prevention awareness.

Objective- To study the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding health hazards among animal handlers in zoological gardens.

Materials and Methods- A questionnaire based cross-sectional study conducted in the National Zoological Park, New Delhi, India involving all 66 employees, including 49 who were directly involved in taking care of animals.

Result- About 86% of the total participants perceived a risk of suffering from disease or injury due to animal handling. Allergies, tuberculosis and bird flu were commonly perceived risks from animal handling. Majority (69.7%) suggested isolation of animals with infectious diseases. About 65% and 37% were vaccinated for tetanus and rabies respectively. Headache (83.3%), itching (80.3%) and vomiting (77.3%) were the most commonly stated symptoms of zoonotic diseases. While handling animals 59.2% had at least once got injured, after which they were mostly taken to the doctor (79.3%). Only 24.5% had attended training program on zoonotic diseases.

Conclusion- There were many lacunae in the knowledge and practices of animal handlers regarding prevention, control and treatment of zoonotic disease and injuries due to animal handling. Training sessions for prevention of zoonotic diseases and injuries are absent. It is important that these issues are addressed promptly and adequately. Also, such study must be conducted in other zoos as situation analysis activity to plan training programmes.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ijosh.v4i1.9146

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Author Biography

Arun Kumar Sharma, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University

Professor

Department of Community Medicine

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Published

2015-02-20

How to Cite

Bagaria, A., & Sharma, A. K. (2015). A Knowledge and Practices study of health hazards among animal handlers in zoological gardens. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Health, 4(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijosh.v4i1.9146

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Section

Original Articles