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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Jan;101(1):56-63. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Towards active community participation in dengue vector control: results from action research in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

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Department of Epidemiology, Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kouri, Autopista Novia del Mediodia Km 6 1/2 La Lisa, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.


Community participation is advocated as essential for attaining effective dengue prevention, but knowledge of how to foster this is limited. In Santiago de Cuba, multiple small task forces were created at the neighbourhood level that included all stakeholders in the control of Aedes aegypti. The task forces assessed the perceived needs and elaborated action plans to promote specific behavioural change and to reduce environmental risks through social communication strategies and intersectoral local government activities. We monitored five dimensions of the participation process and assessed behavioural and environmental results and entomological outcomes. Participation was weak to good. At the household level, uncovered water storage containers decreased from 49.3% to 2.6% between 2000 and 2002, and removing larvicide from them dropped from 45.5% to 1%. There was a reduction of 75% in the absolute number of positive containers and a significant decrease from 1.23% to 0.35% in the house index. Local task forces, in which the interests of householders as well as vector control workers are directly represented, can lead to effective government-community partnerships that resolve problems of mutual concern.

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