Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards Mental Illness: A Rural-Urban Comparative Study among the Akamba of Kenya
Munavu, Raphael Sundiata
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This study was conducted in Kenya to evaluate the hypothesis that there is a difference in knowledge, attitudes and practices towards mental illness among rural and urban dwellers in Kenya. The rural area is represented by Machakos district which is about forty miles from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Nairobi has been chosen to represent the urban area. Data were collected by questionnaire, 100 of which were administered in each study area: Nairobi and Machakos district. A total of 200 questionnaires were administered. All the respondents belonged to the Akamba ethnic group of Kenya, and were males and females between the ages of 18 and 65 years. This study was reflective of a currently topical subject in Kenya - awareness of mental illness among the general public of the country - which the public media have recently quoted the Director of Medical Services of Kenya stating that there is a need for the reversal of unfavorable opinions and attitudes towards the mentally ill in the country. The results appear to suggest that poor knowledge, attitudes and practices are prevalent in certain parts of the country.