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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


FAJARDO, Paulina et al. Popular notions surrounding "dengue" and rompehuesos, two models of the disease in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.10, n.3, pp.161-168. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. To deliver, through children, educational messages to families in Neiva, the capital city of the department of Huila, in Colombia. Methods. An educational project was developed to include, in schoolchildren's natural sciences and environmental education curriculum, basic education on dengue, its vector, and its control. Through surveys and Likert scales, the knowledge and attitudes in the schoolchildren's homes were determined. This was complemented with open-ended interviews that reflected cultural aspects in the area of health and how dengue disease is a part of people's lives. Before and after the intervention, larval infestation indices were determined for the schoolchildren's homes. Results. A cultural pattern was found for the disease that differentiated between rompehuesos (breakbone fever) and "dengue". Rompehuesos corresponds, in popular terms, to classical dengue, a disease that can be dealt with using family and community resources. Institutional medicine, by means of its health agencies and health workers, as well as the communications media, has managed to superimpose another model: that which is associated with dengue hemorrhagic fever. Discussion. Alternatives are considered for prevention efforts that would be sufficient for the conditions in which the vector's cycle occurs in Neiva. Also presented are the community's disease model and the survey results. Together, these elements can guide the formulation and development of educational efforts.

Keywords : Dengue; dengue hemorrágico; Aedes aegypti.

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