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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


HURTADO, Lisbeth A. et al. Knowledge and risk factors related to Chagas´ disease in two Panamanian communities where Rhodnius pallescens is the main vector . Biomédica [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.2, pp.260-270. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: The implementation of surveillance, control and prevention measures for Chagas´ disease requires an integrated approach. The sustainability of programs depends on community participation supported on a basic understanding of the problem. Objective: To evaluate the knowledge of people interviewed which facilitates or limits the surveillance, prevention and control of Chagas´ disease in two endemic Panamanian communities where Rhodnius pallescens is the main vector. Materials and methods: A questionnaire assessed the knowledge and risk factors related to Chagas´ disease in 201 people over 10 years of age from the endemic communities of Las Pavas and Lagartera Grande located on the western shore of Panama Canal. Additionally, with the help of the residents, the presence of triatomine bugs in 93 dwellings was evaluated during a year. Results: Of those interviewed, 69.2% (139/201) had poor or very poor knowledge about Chagas´ disease. Nearly 93% (187/201) was exposed to moderate or high risk factors. Triatomine bugs were collected in 20.4% (19/93) of the evaluated homes; 80% (66/76) of them were R. pallescens . Significant association was found between the presence of triatomines inside the houses and precarious housing (p<0.01). Conclusion: Despite having been exposed to health education-related programs, it is necessary to strengthen the basic knowledge about Chagas´ disease in the two communities before establishing prevention and surveillance measures which involve active participation of its inhabitants.

Palavras-chave : Chagas disease, epidemiology; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; risk factors; Rhodnius; Panama.

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