Knowledge, attitudes, and practices on climate change and dengue in Lao People's Democratic Republic and Thailand

Md Siddikur Rahman, Hans J. Overgaard, Chamsai Pientong, Mayfong Mayxay, Tipaya Ekalaksananan, Sirinart Aromseree, Supranee Phanthanawiboon, Sumaira Zafar, Oleg Shipin, Richard E. Paul, Sysavanh Phommachanh, Tiengkham Pongvongsa, Nanthasane Vannavong, Ubydul Haque

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Abstract

Background: Dengue is linked with climate change in tropical and sub-tropical countries including the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) and Thailand. Knowledge about these issues and preventive measures can affect the incidence and outbreak risk of dengue. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) among urban and rural communities and government officials about climate change and dengue in Laos and Thailand. Methods: A cross-sectional KAP survey about climate change and dengue were conducted in 360 households in Laos (180 urban and 180 rural), 359 households in Thailand (179 urban and 180 rural), and 20 government officials (10 in each country) using structured questionnaires. Data analysis was undertaken using descriptive methods, principal component analysis (PCA), Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test (as appropriate), and logistic regression. Results: Significant differences among the selected communities in both countries were found in terms of household participant's age, level of education, socioeconomic status, attitude level of climate change and KAP level of dengue (P < 0.05; 95% CI). Overall, participants' KAP about climate change and dengue were low except the attitude level for dengue in both countries. The level of awareness among government officials regarding the climatic relationship with dengue was also low. In Lao households, participants’ knowledge about climate change and dengue was significantly associated with the level of education and socioeconomic status (SES) (P < 0.01). Their attitudes towards climate change and dengue were associated with educational level and internet use (P < 0.05). Householders' climate change related practices were associated with SES (P < 0.01) and dengue related practices were associated with educational level, SES, previous dengue experience and internet use (P < 0.01). In Thailand, participants' knowledge about climate change was associated with the level of education and SES (P < 0.01). Their attitudes towards climate change were associated with residence status (urban/rural) and internet use (P < 0.05); climate change related practices were associated with educational level and SES (P < 0.05). Dengue related knowledge of participants was associated with SES and previous dengue experience (P < 0.05); participants’ dengue related attitudes and practices were associated with educational level (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The findings call for urgently needed integrated awareness programs to increase KAP levels regarding climate change adaptation, mitigation and dengue prevention to improve the health and welfare of people in these two countries, and similar dengue-endemic countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110509
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume193
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Control
  • Dengue
  • Prevention

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