Practices of Dengue Fever Prevention and the Associated Factors among the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015; 9: e0003954


Chandren JR, Wong LP, AbuBakar S


BACKGROUND: Dengue is prevalent among Malaysia's indigenous peoples, known as the Orang Asli, and it poses a serious health threat to them. The study aims to look at the socio-demographic factors, health beliefs, and knowledge about dengue and its association to dengue prevention practices among Orang Asli communities in Peninsular Malaysia. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 16 randomly selected Orang Asli villages from eight states in Peninsular Malaysia from April 2012 until February 2013. RESULTS: A total of 560 Orang Asli were interviewed and 505 completed the survey. Slightly above half of the participants (n = 280, 55.4%) had a total dengue prevention score of 51-100 (of a possible score of 0-100). Multivariate analysis findings showed dengue knowledge, perceived barriers to perform dengue prevention, fogging frequency, and perceived susceptibility to dengue fever as significant factors associated to dengue prevention practices. Participants with a lower dengue knowledge score (score 0-18) were less likely (OR = 0.63, 95%CI = 0.44-0.92 vs. score 19-36, P = 0.015) to practice dengue prevention. Participants with low perceived barriers to prevent dengue (score of 1-5) were more likely (OR = 2.06, 95%CI = 1.21-3.53, vs. score of 6-10, P = 0.008) to practice dengue prevention. Villages that were not fogged (OR = 0.49, 95%CI = 0.24-0.99, P = 0.045) or rarely fogged (OR = 0.40, 95%CI = 0.22-0.75, P = 0.004) had lower dengue prevention practices than villages that were fogged often. Participants with low perceived susceptibility of acquiring dengue (score of 1-5) were less likely (OR = 0.54, 95%CI = 0.33-0.89 vs. score of 6-10, P = 0.018) to practice dengue prevention measures. CONCLUSION: Findings imply that educational and health programmes should focus on enhancing dengue knowledge and perceived susceptibility of acquiring dengue and reducing perceived barriers to performing dengue prevention practices among the Orang Asli. More outreach on mosquito control campaigns should be carried out especially in villages where mosquito fogging is frequent.


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