Background: In the Caribbean, mosquito-borne diseases are a public health threat. In Sint Eustatius, dengue, Chikungunya and Zika are now endemic. To control and prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Sint Eustatius Public Health Department relies on the community to assist with the control of Aedes aegypti mosquito. Unfortunately, community based interventions are not always simple, as community perceptions and responses shape actions and influence behavioural responses
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine how the Sint Eustatius population perceives the Aedes aegypti mosquito, mosquito-borne diseases and prevention and control measures and hypothesized that increased knowledge of the virus, vector, control and prevention should result in a lower AQ1 prevalence and incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
Methods: This study was conducted in Sint Eustatius island in the Eastern Caribbean. We combined qualitative and quantitative designs. We conducted interviews and focus groups discussions among community member and health professional in 2013 and 2015. We also conducted cross-sectional survey to assess local knowledge on the vector, virus, and control and prevention.
Results: The population is knowledgeable; (C) however, mosquito-borne diseases are not the highest health priority. While local knowledge is sometimes put into action, it happens on the 20 household/individual level as opposed to the community level. After the 2014 CHIK outbreak, there was an increase in knowledge about mosquito control and mosquito-borne diseases. Discussion: In the context of Sint Eustatius, when controlling the Aedes population it may be a strategic option to focus on the household level rather than the community and build collaborations with households by supporting them when they actively practice mosquito 25 control. To further increase the level of knowledge on the significance of mosquito-borne diseases, it may also be an option to contextualize the issue of the virus, vector, prevention and control into a broader context.
Conclusion: As evidenced by the increasing number of mosquito-borne diseases on the island, it appears that knowledge amongst the lay community may not be transferred into 30 action. This may be attributed to the perception of the Sint Eustatius populations that mosquitoes and the viruses they carry are not a high priority in comparison to other health concerns.
- community participation