Knowledge of diabetes and hypertension among members of teaching staff of higher learning institutions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Diabetes and hypertension are among the most common non-communicable diseases (NCD) that contribute to a large number of adult morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to determine knowledge of diabetes and hypertension and the associated risk factors among members of teaching staff of Higher Learning Institutions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A cross sectional community based study was conducted in 10 higher learning institutions including universities. A structured pretested questionnaire was utilized. A total of 139 participants were involved in this study. A total of 139 teaching members of staff from higher learning institutions participated in the study. The majority (74.8%; n=104) of the participants were males. Mean age of the participants was 40.7 ± 12.6. Over half (56.8%; 79/139) of the respondents correctly identified failure of body to use insulin as one of the causes of diabetes. Of the respondents, 43.2% (60/139) were able to identified heredity as cause of hypertension. Increasing age was correctly identified as one of risk factors for diabetes by 38.1% (53/139) and for hypertension by 36.7% (51/139) respondents. Thus knowledge of the causes, signs and symptoms, risk factors and complications was not as high as expected considering the respondents were among the highly educated and professional population. In conclusion, the majority of teaching staff in the higher learning Institutions in Dar es Salaam were aware of the diabetes and hypertension. However the knowledge of the causes, signs and symptoms, risk factors and complications was not as high as expected. It is important that this group of professionals is appropriately informed as regards to diabetes, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases as they may serve as key advocacy group to the community and policy makers in Tanzania.