Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, a public health emergency of international concern, has recently been confirmed in Indonesia. However, to date, there has been no study to assess how prepared healthcare workers in Indonesia are to confront this emerging infectious disease. The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of medical doctors in Indonesia towards ZIKV infection and its associated explanatory variables. A cross-sectional self-administered online survey was conducted from 3 May to 3 June 2016 in Aceh province, Indonesia. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data on doctors’ attitudes towards ZIKV infection and a range of explanatory variables (basic demographic data, professional characteristics, workplace characteristics and facilities, and medical experience related to ZIKV infection).
Associations between attitude and explanatory variables were assessed using multiple-step logistic regression. The survey received 631 responses, 424 (67.19%) of which were included in the final analysis. Approximately 64%(271) of doctors had a poor attitude towards ZIKV infection. Experience considering ZIKV infection as a differential diagnosis and attendance at a national conference was associated with a good attitude, with odds ratios (OR) of 3.93 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.15-13.49) and 1.69 (95% CI: 1.03-2.76), respectively. Unexpectedly, doctors who had attended an international conference and those working at places that had molecular diagnostic (polymerase chain reaction based testing) facilities had lower odds of having a good attitude (OR: 0.35 [95% CI: 0.15-0.84] and 0.42 [95% CI: 0.19-0.95], respectively). In conclusion, the attitude towards ZIKV infection is relatively poor among doctors in Aceh. Therefore, strategies for enhancing their capacity to respond to ZIKV infection are needed. The survey concept and tools were well accepted by the participants of this study, suggesting that this rapid assessment could be rolled out across the Indonesian archipelago and elsewhere to identify and regionally differentiate unmet needs of disease and outbreak preparedness.