Exploring knowledge and perceptions of type two diabetes mellitus in a selected sector of Rwamagana district's residents : Rwanda.
This study was conducted to determine the level of knowledge and perceptions of Type Two Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) among people in Rwamagana District. A quantitative descriptive design and a cluster multistage sampling technique were used in this study. Out of a sample of 355 people, 301 voluntary participated in the study and completed the anonymous questionnaires. The response rate was 85%. The questions in the questionnaire were designed to collect socio-demographic information of the participants, their knowledge of diabetes and their perceptions of diabetes. Analysis of findings revealed that the level of knowledge of diabetes was inadequate and low among participants. Very few participants were able to answer properly the questions aimed to explore their knowledge of the meaning, signs/symptoms, causes, risk factors, management and prevention of diabetes. In addition many participants answered that they had no knowledge about any of the aspects of diabetes explored in our questionnaire. The perceptions were also poor and inadequate, especially perceptions of diabetes management at the community level and of diabetes prevention. The perceived risk of developing diabetes was low and many participants felt that behaviour change was of no importance in the prevention of diabetes, since the majority reported that they were not planning any behaviour change in the future. The findings suggest that there is a need for education campaigns in Rwamagana district to raise public knowledge about all aspects of diabetes. There is a need also to train the community health workers of this district to enable them to offer proper advice at the community level about diabetes prevention and management. The findings from this study could be used to assist in the planning of diabetes prevention and management programs in Rwamagana district.