Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) commonly causes chronic liver disease. The majority
of the countries in the Middle East have intermediate or high endemicity of HCV. Adequate
knowledge, attitude and behavior, are critical to decline the spread of this infection. In this study, we
aim to assess the level of knowledge and attitude of medical and health science students in Ras Al
Khaimah (RAK), United Arab Emirates (UAE), towards HCV infection.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted from March – May 2014 among
the students of medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy colleges of RAK Medical and Health Science
University (RAKMHSU) using a structured, pre-validated questionnaire with 26 close-ended trichomotous
questions. They were divided into 2 groups for statistical analysis. Group 1 consisted of
medical students and group 2 consisted of pharmacy, nursing and dental students put together.
Results: Total 409 students (171 medical and 238 paramedical) participated in the study. The mean
knowledge levels were partial toward HCV infection in our survey with better knowledge in medical
students compared to paramedical students. The majority of the correct answers were related to the
nature and transmission of the viruses. The knowledge regarding prevention and treatment was poor
in paramedical students. Overall attitude towards infected individuals were average in group-1 but
poor in group-2. The awareness is poorer in whether an infected professional should be involved in
patient care and having the skills needed to treat patients with HCV. We found a positive correlation
between students’ knowledge and attitude. Generally, awareness steadily increased with each year of
Conclusion: Awareness of students in our region is partial to weak, especially on prevention and in
those groups of students who have less close contact with patients. There is an urgent need for improvement
of awareness of HCV.