Center for International Community-Based Health Research, The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Baltimore, Maryland, Mexico
This report describes the results of a community-based Aedes aegypti control program in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Baseline surveys concerning knowledge, beliefs, and practices of 577 women and a larval survey of 616 house lots were carried out in October 1989. Following development of a public health communication intervention from this data, the program was implemented in six communities. Evaluation used an untreated control group design with pretest and two post-tests, one at completion and one six months later. Significant changes in knowledge and behavior were seen in the treatment group in both post-tests. Women in the intervention group were able to identify the Ae. aegypti mosquito, the larval production sites of the mosquito, and appropriate control methods. A behavior change proxy was measured by examining changes in the Breteau (number of positive containers/100 houses surveyed) and container indices. The Breteau index remained the same in the intervention group while it increased significantly in the comparison group. Changes were also seen with respect to individual containers. This project demonstrated that a community-based communication program aimed at larval production site elimination or control can be effective in changing behavior and reducing larval production sites.