versión impresa ISSN 0120-4157
NIEVES, Elsa et al. Evaluation of knowledge and practice on tegumentary leishmaniasis in an endemic area of Venezuela. Biomédica [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.3, pp. 347-356. ISSN 0120-4157.
Introduction. Leishmaniases constitutes a serious public health problem in many parts of the Americas. However, the populations exposed to leishmaniasis lack information about this disease. For this reason, educational assessments and interventions were deemed necessary to contribute to a greater impact of control measures. Objective. The level of knowledge and practices was evaluated for tegumentary leishmaniasis and the phlebotomine sand fly vector species. Materials and Methods. Between September 2006 and July 2007, a survey was conducted on epidemiological aspects, prevention, and control of leishmaniasis in two endemic communities-Bolero Alto and Bajo, in the municipality of Pinto Salina, Mérida state, Venezuela. It was administered to persons 7 years of age, in randomly selected houses. Collections of sand fly vectors were made indoors and around the houses. Results. Approximately 68% of the population showed a level of knowledge on leishmaniasis considered as insufficient. The lowest level of knowledge found was on matters related to leishmaniasis transmission and prevention. Seven epidemiologically important Lutzomyia species were identified: L. youngi, L. ovallesi, L. gomezi, L. walkeri, L. panamensis, L. punctigeniculata and L. venezuelensis. The predominant species in both communities were L. youngi and L. ovallesi, constituting 55% and 24%, respectively, of the totals. Conclusions. The residents of the endemic communities studied had a low level of knowledge about leishmaniasis. This must be considered in the development of educational alternatives that complement control programs. A particular focus on the prevention of insect bites is recommended.
Palabras llave : health knowledge, attitudes, practice; leishmaniasis [epidemiology]; Psychodidae; disease vectors; Venezuela.