Knowledge, attitudes and practices about dengue in rural schools in two Colombian municipalities

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Investigación y estudios

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Eventos: Congreso


 Dengue prevention and vector control programs in Colombia are focused on urban areas, nevertheless dengue cases in people who live in rural areas were reported. Also we have found high infestation levels of Aedes aegypti in rural households and schools. This study identified knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) about dengue in pupils and teachers in rural schools in the municipalities of La Mesa (LM) and Anapoima (A), department of Cundinamarca.

A dengue-themed KAP survey was developed, quality-assessed by a group of experts and used in a pilot study in July 2011. A total of 44 teachers and 471 students from second to fifth grade in 35 rural schools participated.

Both teachers and pupils were aware that dengue is transmitted by mosquito bites. Teachers were able to identify important vector breeding sites, such as tires and laundry tanks “albercas”; whereas pupils did not. Pupils identified solid waste as a potential place for vector breeding (62%). Fever was recognized as the principal symptom of dengue (LM: 92% of teachers and 56% of pupils; A: 100% of teachers and 74% of pupils). Teachers’ knowledge of warning signs of dengue was limited. Respondents mentioned visiting a medical facility as an usual practice (LM: 89% of teachers and 72% of pupils; A: 94% of teachers and 82% of pupils). Self-medication was a common practice mentioned by pupils (LM: 65%; A: 70%). In Anapoima knowledge of preventive practices was identified by both teachers and pupils as washing of laundry tanks “albercas” (83%), changing water in vases (82%), using bednets (82%), fumigating (72%) and covering containers with lids (70%). The only preventive practices identified in La Mesa were fumigating (67%) and using bednets (63%). Overall, a low percentage reported the use of a bednet when ill as a preventive practice.

Even though pupils and teachers considered dengue as a serious disease, the knowledge about the disease was judged as medium in Anapoima and low in La Mesa. The attitudes in both municipalities are favorable to control strategies, but practices are currently insufficient, especially given the high local rates of infestation by the vector.


Vargas SL, Sarmiento DM, Jaramillo JF, Matiz MI, Olano VA, Alexander N, Lenhart A, Seidu R, Stenström TA y Overgaard HJ.

Fecha de publicación 12 de septiembre de 2012
Fecha de aceptación 13 de marzo de 2013

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