A Comprehensive Needs Assessment to Identify Priority Program Targets for Mosquito Vector Control and related Diseases in Belmopan, Belize
This was a mixed-methods study aimed to comprehensively assess factors associated with mosquito control in Belmopan, Belize, in order to better inform stakeholders on the effectiveness of their efforts. A knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions (KAP) survey was employed within the four target communities of San Martin, Salvapan, Maya Mopan, and Las Flores. Additional epidemiological and entomological data was provided by relevant stakeholders. A total of 228 households were surveyed among the four target communities. Only 1/3 of respondents were able to demonstrate proficient knowledge. Knowledge was attained mostly through TV, Ministry of Health, hospital, and radio sources. Over 90% of respondents believed that mosquitos and the diseases they carry were a real issue for the community. Respondents living in Salvapan and Las Flores were more likely to have contracted Dengue Fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, or Zika than in other areas. Fan usage and regularly cleaning the yard were the two most employed practices for preventing mosquito bites and breeding. Approximately 85% of those surveyed viewed insecticide spraying to be effective. This assessment provides valuable insight into the needs of at- risk communities in regards to vector control. An increased focus on community outreach, education, and behavioral change can greatly impact the effectiveness of current vector control efforts. Stakeholders must work together and pool resources in order to effectively employ control interventions. Continued evaluation and community involvement is necessary to control mosquitos and prevent disease outbreaks.
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