Community Perceptions Regarding Mosquito Borne Diseases in Some Selected Localitities of Bankura, a Peri-Urban Area of West Bengal, India  

Anupam Ghosh , Sathi Mukherjee , Tanushree Dutta , Subhasis Roy , Fatik Baran Mondal
Department of Zoology, Bankura Christian College, West Bengal, India
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Mosquito Research, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 7   doi: 10.5376/jmr.2013.03.0007
Received: 25 Feb., 2013    Accepted: 04 Mar., 2013    Published: 25 Apr., 2013
© 2013 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Ghosh et al., 2013, Community Perceptions Regarding Mosquito Borne Diseases in Some Selected Localitities of Bankura, a Peri-Urban Area of West Bengal, India, Journal of Mosquito Research, Vol.3, No.7 54-57 (doi: 10.5376/jmr.2013.03.0007)

Abstract

A community-based cross-sectional study was undertaken covering 300 peoples in some selected peri-urban areas of Bankura, West Bengal, India to understand the level of knowledge and perceived risk regarding mosquito-borne infectious diseases. The general perception of the community may be helpful in designing evidence-based effective control strategies in the study area. Present survey emphasizes the need of creating public awareness regarding the seriousness of mosquito borne diseases as effective preventive measures.

Keywords
Mosquito; Mosquito borne diseases; Community perception; Public awareness; Effective preventive measures

Intrduction
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are now referred as ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1996). There are more than 4 500 species of mosquitoes distributed throughout the world under 34 genera; but mostly belongs to Aedes, Anopheles and Culex. They are vectors of several public and life threatening diseases including protozoans (malaria), viral (yellow fever, dengue fever, chikunguniya, West Nile virus, japanese encephalitis) or helminthic (filariasis) infections. These diseases not only cause mortality or morbidity among the human and cause social, cultural, environmental and economic loss of the society.

A recent estimate suggests that 91 countries and 40% of the world’s population are at risk of malaria. The world-wide malaria incidence is estimated to be 300~500 million clinical cases per year. India is one of the affected countries with millions of people die every year due to malaria. Regarding filariasis, about 2.5 million people are exposed to the risk factors, about 2 million are microfilariae carriers and 1.2 million disease cases occur in India. About 50 million cases of dengue occur in India every year and 2.5 million people are under the risk of dengue viral infection. Although not generally fatal, but in 2005~2006, 200 deaths occurred due to widespread outbreak of chikungunya in India. Mosquito-borne diseases result in ill-health of the community people and death which also been emphasized in National Health Policy (Kishor, 2006; Park, 2009).

Despites serious steps taken by chemical, biological, mechanical or integrated vector management programmes, the incidence of mosquito borne diseases are ever increasing. The failure of mosquito control operation may be due to the lack of community participation and lack of education awareness among them seriousness of diseases. In spite of many mass communication and educational approaches, community participation is far below the expectation in almost all regions of India. Community participation is essential for the prevention and control of an outbreak of mosquito borne diseases which in turn depends on peoples’ general awareness, knowledge and attitude towards the public health diseases. Several socioeconomic studies in different countries throughout the world indicate variations in knowledge, perceptions and practice related to mosquito-borne diseases (Rosenbaum et al., 1995; Winch et al., 2002; Yasuoka et al., 2006; Yadav et al., 2007; Prakash et al., 2008; Gunasekaran et al., 2009). However, implementing socially acceptable measures by the local government, in collaboration with other necessary sectors and social mobilization for full involvement of the community is crucial (Boratne, 2010). The present study is undertaken to understand the level of knowledge and perceived risk of the local community of Bankura regarding mosquito-borne infectious diseases to determine what practices the people use to prevent mosquito bites at home and reduce the incidence of mosquito borne diseases in locality which would help to decide the further preventive methods.

Materials and Methods
Study area: The present community-based study was undertaken during April - September 2012 in three selected peri-urban areas (Kabar Danga, Indaragora and Kenduadihi) of Bankura Town. The Municipal town of Bankura is located centrally within the district Bankura. The geographical location of Bankura town is 87º-3’-36” North Latitude and 23º-14’-24” East Longitude. It is the Head-quarter of the Bankura District. The town is 35 km away from the industrial town Durgapur. It is at a distance of around 250 km from the state Capital Kolkata. The demographic features and average populations are presented in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively (Source: Bankura Municipality Data, 2010; Web: http://bankuramunicipality.org).
 

 

Table 1 Demographic features of Bankura town in 2010

 

 

Table 2 Salient features of population characteristics of Bankura town


Study Design: The study was conducted by interview technique to the community people using a set of open ended questionnaire. Faculty and students of Zoology Department visited the study area along with NSS volunteers. Prior information was given to the study population regarding purpose of the survey. The interviewers were instructed to cover all households in three wards of peri-urban areas of Bankura and to collect information from available respondents. The results were analyzed using the Microsoft Excel software. 

Results and Discussion
Present study shows the observations based upon responses received from 300 respondents (226 males and 74 females). The age and occupation of the respondents under study are presented in Table 3. Responses to each question have been analyzed separately. In the study population, about 41.17% knows about various types of mosquitoes and the scientific names such as Anopheles, Culex etc; where as 58.82% have information about mosquitoes and associated diseases but have no knowledge about various kinds of mosquitoes and their scientific names. About 51.96% of the total populations remove stagnant water once a fort-night but the rest do not practice it. About 36.27% responded that mosquito transmitted some serious diseases, about 56.86% informed that mosquitoes only create biting nuisance whereas 6.86% have no knowledge about the role of mosquitoes in spreading the diseases or biting nuisance. In a question related to knowledge about the breeding places of mosquito, 66.67% identified polluted water of drains as a major source of mosquito breeding followed by garbage (Table 4). In response to a question related to the preferred time of biting of mosquitoes, majority (42.15%) answered night (Table 5). When a particular question was asked on the name of a disease, most preferred answer was malaria (50%) followed by dengue (Table 6). In a question related to the most common symptom of mosquito borne diseases, fever was most preferred answer (50%) (Table 7). In this study area majority of the people used private medical practitioner for their health checkup (48.03%); where as 37.25% people depends upon Govt. Health system (Table 8). Majority of the people (49.01%) have accumulated information regarding mosquito borne diseases from their daily observations on seek people (Table 9). Use of various types of repellent is the most important source of personal protection to the study population (Table 10) and about a quarter of the surveyed population use bed net at night. In a question related the application of suitable efforts by the government, majority of the people wants daily cleaning of garbage as well as cleaning of drains at regular intervals (Table 11). The people were also asked during the study whether they were aware that government is taking some measure to reduce the incidence of public health problems. About 28% people in the sample mentioned that they are aware about government efforts in form of cleaning of garbages drains etc and spraying of chemical larvicides. About 38% do not know about it. About 34% mentioned that government effort is lacking. So a high percentage of people are hardly aware of the governmental efforts and thus active participation of the community remains to be answered.
 

 

Table 3 Description of the respondents involved in the study

 

 

Table 4 General perception of community people about breeding places of mosquitoes

 

 

Table 5 General perception of community people about preferred time of mosquito bite

 

 

Table 6 General perception of community people about different types of mosquito borne diseases

 

 

Table 7 General perception of community people about symptoms of mosquito borne diseases

 

 

Table 8 Source of medical treatments used by community people of Bankura town

 

 

Table 9 Source of knowledge gathered by community people of Bankura town about mosquito borne diseases

 

 

Table 10 Personal protection used by community people of Bankura town against mosquito bite

 

 

Table 11 Role of government in eradication of mosquito borne diseases


So, it can be concluded from the present survey that intensified efforts towards creating public awareness regarding the seriousness of mosquito borne diseases and preventive measures are needed. Information about breeding sites of mosquitoes, mortal outcomes of mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, dengue etc. should be conveyed to community. The Government should intensify the campaign against the mosquito borne diseases through different public sectors or advertisement in news papers or TV channels and should take proper action in regular cleaning of polluted water. The spraying of suitable chemical adulticide or larvicide as well as the introduction of biocontrol agents such as application of larvivorous fishes in the temporary or permanent water body can reduce the frequency and prevalence of mosquito borne diseases in this peri-urban area. Active participation of stakeholders, community volunteers and self-help group members are necessary to maximize community awareness and can improve the quality of life in this area. 

Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the study participants, final year Graduate students of Bankura Christian College, and volunteers for their active participation. The authors are also thankful to the Principal, Bankura Christian College for his constant support, guidance, logistics and permission for publishing this study. The supervisor of this project, Dr. Anupam Ghosh wants to acknowledge the University Grant Commission for financial support through a sanctioned Minor Research Project (PSW-001/11-12).

References
Boratne A.V., Jayanthi V., Datta S.S., Singh Z., Senthilvel V. and Joice Y.S., 2010, Predictors of knowledge of selected mosquito-borne diseases among adults of selected peri-urban areas of Puducherry, J Vector Borne Dis., 47(4): 249–256 PMid:21178219

Gunasekaran K., Sahu S.S., Vijayakumar, K.N., and Jambulingam P., 2009, Acceptability, willing to purchase and use long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets in Orissa State, India. Acta Trop., 112(2): 149–155
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Junko Y., Thomas W.M., Mangione A.S., and Levins R., 2006, Impact of education on knowledge, agricultural practices, and Community actions for mosquito control and mosquito-borne Disease prevention in rice ecosystems in Sri Lanka, Am J Trop Med Hyg., 74(6): 1034–1042

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Rosenbaum J., Nathan M.B., Ragoonanansingh R., Rawlins S., Gayle C., Chadee D.D., and Lloyd L.S., 1995, Community participation in dengue prevention and control: a survey of knowledge, attitudes, and practice in Trinidad and Tobago, Am J Trop Med Hyg, 53(2): 111–117 PMid:7677210

Winch P.J., Leontsini E., Rigau-Perez J.G., Ruiz-Perez M., Clark G.G. and Gubler D.J., 2002, Community-based dengue prevention programs in Puerto Rico: impact on knowledge, behavior, and residential mosquito infestation, Am J Trop Med Hyg, 67(4): 363–370 PMid:12452490

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