Exploring the relationships between dengue fever knowledge and Aedes aegypti breeding in St Catherine Parish, Jamaica: a pilot of enhanced low-cost surveillance
Justin Stoler1, Stephanie K Brodine2, Simeon Bromfield3, John R Weeks1, Henroy P Scarlett4
1Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA; 2Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA; 3Mosquito Control Section, St Catherine Health Department, Spanish Town, Jamaica; 4Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies at Mona, Kingston, Jamaica
Purpose: Dengue fever has re-emerged as an increasingly significant global health threat amid diminishing resources pledged for its control in developing nations. Efforts to limit breeding of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti are often hampered by lack of community awareness of the disease.
Methods: Sixty-eight households in St Catherine Parish, Jamaica completed a pilot knowledge, attitude, and practice questionnaire as part of a routine container survey for presence of A. aegypti larvae.
Results: Infestation levels were high according to traditional Stegomyia indices (Breteau index = 325); however, general knowledge of dengue symptoms, A. aegypti breeding sites, and preventive practices was low. After examining the links between demographic characteristics, dengue knowledge, and the number of breeding sites per house, higher educational achievement was associated with higher dengue knowledge, but also with more unprotected containers. Overall dengue knowledge was not associated with household container counts. Spatial statistics identified weak clustering of larvae-positive containers, and larvae were concentrated in three key container types.
Conclusion: Residents may only understand the role of certain container types, and significant gaps in general knowledge of the disease may inhibit vector control. This pilot demonstrates the feasibility of conducting inexpensive, rapid assessment of community knowledge and breeding levels for local governments lacking the resources for a more methodologically robust vector assessment strategy.
Keywords: GIS, community knowledge, KAP survey
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