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KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND DENTAL CULTURAL PRACTICES AMONG THE KAMBA COMMUNITY

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Cultural practices are indigenous traditions, practices and beliefs carried out by
various communities worldwide for various reasons like for beauty, social class,
therapeutic reasons, transition from one age group to another and cultural
acceptance. Studies done in Africa reveal that over 80% of African communities
practise their traditional cultural practices, which they perceive to be affordable,
available and culturally acceptable. In spite of them being helpful, a number of them
could be detrimental to both general and dental health. Most people however, are
unaware of the negative effects of these practices.
The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and cultural practices
in the Kamba community, in Kenya. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study,
conducted in Senda village located in Ukambani, Makueni district. The sample size
was 164 adults, (above 18 years) and was selected using systematic random
sampling method. However, Only 120 adults were interviewed due to time constraint
and transport problems. A semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire with
open-ended and close-ended questions was used to collect information. The data
collected was analyzed using SPSS and chi-square tests, and the results presented in
tables, graphs and pie charts.
More males than females were interviewed with the most common age group being
26-30years.Most of the interviewees were casual labourers (65%). The Kambas' have
a high knowledge of cultural practices with the most popular dental cultural practice
being carving of teeth (55.8%). However, they have a poor knowledge on the
detrimental effects of the practices with only 26.7% aware of the effects.
Dental cultural practices are still widely practiced by more than half of the community
(63.3%) with the most prevalent practice being the use of herbs (35%). The main
reason behind the practices is that they locally available and affordable. The Kambas
have a positive attitude towards the practices with 55% supporting the cultural
practices.
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There was a downward trend of the practices probably due to westernization.
Reasons like lack of dental awareness and lack of dental healthcare facilities in the
vicinity could be attributed to the persistence of some practices like use of herbs and
the poor knowledge of the detrimental effects of some of the Kamba practices.
For more information on the prevalence and the effects of the dental cultural practices,
more researches should be done in Senda village, Makueni district and other Kenyan
communities. The Government should make modern dental care facilities available
and affordable to the community. Finally, public health care workers and policy makers
could come up with education programs and dental awareness programs to educate
them on dental health and enlighten them on the side effects of the practices
respectively.

Documentation : 
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MULU M. MARYANNE.pdf20.21 MB

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