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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


FERNANDEZ-NINO, Julián A.; IDROVO, Álvaro J.; GIRALDO-GARTNER, Vanesa  e  MOLINA-LEON, Helvert F.. Cultural domains pertaining to malaria: An approach to non-institutional knowledge. Biomédica [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.2, pp.250-259. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: Malaria control policies have not fully achieved the expected results due to little consideration of cultural aspects, among other factors. Objective: To explore the cultural domains pertaining to this disease in an endemic Colombian population, in order to both design and implement effective action plans. Materials and methods: A convenience sampling was conducted to select inhabitants from 12 villages in Tierralta, Córdoba. In order to generate free-lists, participants were asked about their communities´ health problems, causes of malaria, control measures and those responsible for malaria control. Smith´s indexes were calculated for each item answered. Results: Between 30 and 38 individuals per village participated in the study (N=401). The mean age was 40.24 years (standard deviation (SD)=14.22) and women were 45.39% of the total. Participants recognized malaria and respiratory infections as the primary health problems in the community (median Smith´s indexes: 0.83 and 0.63, respectively). A lack of environmental interventions was identified as the main determinant of malaria (median Smith´s index: 0.65). Finally, the health care center (median Smith´s index: 0.71) and health professionals (median Smith´s index: 0.52) were identified as those most responsible for malaria control. Conclusions: The design of programs to reduce the impact of malaria requires developing interventions or initiatives that are adapted to the community´s needs, demands and available resources. Free-listing is proposed as an effective tool to collect information about cultural domains related to health.

Palavras-chave : Malaria; prevention and control; culture; health promotion; public health; Colombia.

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