Respiratory tract infection (RTI) is a major public health challenge during the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah. This study aims to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice of Malaysian Hajj and Umrah pilgrims towards the prevention of RTIs in 2018 and determine correlations among three domains. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 225 Umrah and Hajj pilgrims. Knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) towards RTI prevention was assessed by using a validated self-administered questionnaire among pilgrims attending a weekly orientation course organized by private Hajj/Umrah companies. Out of 225 participants, 65.9% of respondents were female with the mean (SD) age of 46.74 (13.38) years. The interquartile range (IQR) score for knowledge is 18.0 (6.0), the mean scores of attitude and practice are 32.65 (4.72) and 25.30 (4.9). respectively. Significant and negative linear correlations between knowledge and practice (r = -0.232, p < 0.001), and attitude and practice (r = 0.134, p = 0.045) were observed. Results from the current study showed good knowledge of RTIs among Malaysian pilgrims. However, a poor attitude was reflected in their preventive practice behaviors. This will further help in the prevention and management of RTIs during Hajj and Umrah. Therefore, an extensive educational health campaign should be provided to pilgrims to create awareness.
Keywords: Malaysia; attitude; knowledge; pilgrims; practice; respiratory tract infections.