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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

CABRERA, Rufino et al. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning Chagas disease in schoolchildren from an endemic area in Peru. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.1, pp. 147-154. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000100016.

This study analyzes knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning Chagas disease among 241 primary schoolchildren in "La Tinguiña", Ica, Peru (December 2000 - January 2001). Less than 1% of those interviewed knew that triatomines transmit Chagas disease, while nearly a quarter recognized the illness based on the appearance of "lumps" on the skin; 35.27% knew that vector infestation is controlled using insecticides; 26.56% recognized the adult stage of the vector, and 21.16% the nymphal instar; 14.11% knew triatomines or "kissing bugs" by the name "chirimacha"; 82.57% would accept an entomological survey, 66.80% would submit to a serological study, and 63.90% would participate in a triatomine search. The study shows that the population, despite having very limited knowledge on the disease and its vectors, shows interest in collaborating. Therefore, it is recommended that Chagas disease surveillance and control include educational programs and community participation.

Keywords : Chagas Disease; Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Surveillance; Students.

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