Objective: To determine the level of preparedness among selected laboratories in Georgetown, Guyana to a possible vector-borne disease outbreak and to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of laboratory personnel towards climate change and vector-borne disease.
Design and Methods: This study was based a mixed method approach. The use of questionnaires and a standardized checklist were used to assess parameters such as knowledge, attitudes, practices and laboratory preparedness.
Results: This study showed that 75% of respondents have satisfactory to good knowledge in relation to climate change and its effects with 25% having poor knowledge. Practices shared the same outcome as knowledge, as 89.6% of respondents have satisfactory to good practices with majority (83.3%) of those having satisfactory practice levels. However, in relation to attitude, it was seen that 70.8% have a negative attitude, while only 29.2% exhibit a positive attitude. Laboratories were observed to be ill-prepared to handle a vector-borne disease outbreak. The results indicated that two out of the five laboratories included in the study does testing for all three pathogens. However, their scores were 65% and 70% respectively, when measured on the preparedness checklist.
Conclusion: The data concluded that laboratories are not prepared for possible vector-borne disease outbreaks. This was largely due to lack of information, guidelines, and tools to facilitate an effective process. Therefore, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with laboratories should derive strategic ways to prepare laboratories.
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