Identifying requirements for targeted risk communication in prevention of dengue transmission in vulnerable areas, Mawlamyaing, Myanmar. Dengue Bulletin, Vol 36, 2012.
Pe Thet Zaw, et al.
This cross-sectional study focused on the largest periurban ward of Mawlamyaing Township in Myanmar to identify the requirements for targeted risk communication in the prevention of dengue transmission in vulnerable areas. During May 2011, 200 structured interviews of householders and six in-depth interviews of health personnel and ward administrators were conducted. Most of the respondents lived in wooden houses (145/200, 73%). Only 18% of the respondents had high school and higher education. Two thirds of the households had children under 15 years of age, and 8% reported hospitalization for dengue infection in the past one year. Only 30% (60/200) knew that dengue could occur all the year round.
The majority acknowledged that dengue was preventable. However, their mean score for five specific preventive measures was 1.8 ± 0.8. The mean risk perception scores in chances of reinfection, and in severity, were 5.7 ± 2.2 and 6.0 ± 2.5 respectively. They stored rainwater mostly outdoors in cement tanks and in ceramic jars (52/102, 51%). They were unable to clean these containers within 7 days, and they did not change water regularly. Only 42% of cement tanks and 67% of ceramic jars had complete covering. Nearly 81% of the households had a few to abundant water-retainable discarded materials in their compounds. In-depth interviews revealed the need to strengthen advocacy for more community engagement in the removal of potential dengue vector breeding sites.
In conclusion, extensive rainwater storage in key containers without adequate management and improper environmental management may lead to increased dengue vector breeding sites. The householders’ low knowledge scores in preventive measures, and their low-risk perceptions towards reinfection may aggravate the situation. Greater emphasis should be on multisectoral collaboration and coordination to use advocacy as the best tool for risk communication in order to motivate community engagement. This will complement effective and sustained integrated vector management measures in vulnerable areas