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Religious mass gatherings can foster contagious disease transmission in the home countries of pilgrims. Thailand has two major Muslim pilgrims: the Hajj and the Dawah. This study aimed to compare their knowledge (K), attitude (A), and self-reported practice (P), and qualitatively evaluate their perceptions regarding the prevention of respiratory infections. A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted. Multistage sampling was conducted in Hajj participants, while convenience sampling was used with the Dawah participants at two gathering places. Pearson’s chi-square test was used to compare KAP scores between the two groups. We conducted qualitative interviews with 13 purposively chosen participants. There were 111 Hajj and 228 Dawah participants. Most Hajj respondents were in the age group of ≥50 years, while most Dawah respondents were between 30–49 years. Overall, the Hajj group had a significantly higher proportion of good knowledge scores than the Dawah group, with 76.6 and 56.1, as well as the positive attitude score of 97.3 and 87.7. The Hajj group was more receptive to receive health education about respiratory infections before their pilgrimage. Preparatory education classes should be initiated for Dawah Muslims before they attend a foreign gathering event.
Keywords: mass gatherings, respiratory infections, health education, perception, Thailand
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