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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 96-101

Perceptions and preventive practices related to mosquito-borne diseases among school students in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu

1 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tamil Nadu, India
2 MBBS-Undergraduate student, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Geetha Mani
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-7006.302672

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Background: Mosquitoes and other vectors are responsible for 17% of all infectious diseases globally. Considering the increasing burden and socioeconomic impact of mosquito-borne diseases, the most effective control measure is to empower people with essential information and encourage them to adopt preventive and protective measures. Objective: This study was done among school children to identify their perceptions on mosquito-borne diseases in terms of knowledge and attitude and related preventive practices, as part of an awareness programme. Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted among students of classes 9 to 12, in a selected school of Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu in January 2017, using a pre-tested, semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire. Results: A total of 400 students participated in the study; 64.5% were males. Malaria (96.8%), Dengue (84.8%) and Chikungunya (71%) were the commonest diseases known. While 62.7% identified symptoms of common mosquito-borne diseases, only 2.5% were aware of vectors involved. 82% of students opined that malaria control is combined responsibility of Government, community and individual. Mosquito nets (63%) were the commonest protective measure used. More than 90% kept water containers and storage tanks covered and clean. More than 75% reported practicing one or more environmental measures to prevent mosquito breeding. The mean knowledge score was 4.28 (SD±1.28). Higher mean scores were observed among males and higher classes of study (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results of this study could be reflective of perceptions and practices of the families and communities. School- based awareness programmes and integration of disease control measures in curriculum with field-based activities could motivate children to adopt preventive and protective measures and promote the same in their communities.

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