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IMPACT OF EDUCATION ON KNOWLEDGE, AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES, AND COMMUNITY ACTIONS FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL AND MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE PREVENTION IN RICE ECOSYSTEMS IN SRI LANKA

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  • 1 Department of Population and International Health, Department of Biostatistics, and Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

Mosquito-borne diseases are a major public health threat in Sri Lanka. A 20-week pilot education program to improve community knowledge and mosquito control with participatory and non-chemical approaches was developed, implemented, and evaluated using pre-educational and post-educational surveys in two intervention and two comparison villages. Correlates of baseline knowledge were sex, number of family members, ratio of family members with malaria history, school education level, and availability of electricity at the residence. Participation in the educational program led to improved knowledge of mosquito ecology and disease epidemiology, changes in agricultural practices, and an increase in environmentally sound measures for mosquito control and disease prevention. The variety of actions at the post-educational stage were determined by improved knowledge, but not by sociodemographic characteristics. Such community-based educational interventions are effective in increasing understanding and active involvement in mosquito control and disease prevention in rice ecosystems regardless of sociodemographic characteristics.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Junko Yasuoka, Department of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
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