Dominican Republic

Knowledge, attitudes and practices about cholera prevention in Santo Domingo during November-December, 2010: A risk communication campaign evaluation.

Introduction: In November 2010, following an outbreak of cholera in Haiti, the first cases of cholera in the Dominican Republic were identified in Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Health immediately launched a cholera prevention campaign. Three weeks later, we conducted a survey to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and practices about cholera prevention. Methods: We conducted a two-stage randomized cluster survey. We administered a questionnaire to each head of household and tested drinking water for residual chlorine. We defined households as poor using the National Statistics Office method of assets ownership. We calculated frequencies and odds ratios (OR) with 95%CIs accounting for clustering at the first sample stage. Results: We interviewed 480 heads-of-households (49% of households were poor, 0.2% only spoke Creole), of which 89% had received cholera prevention messages from ≥1 source (TV 81%, radio 41%, leaflets 13%, and newspapers 11%). Approximately half (54% [49%–60%]) knew that cholera is transmitted by eating uncooked food; one-third (33% [27%–40%]) knew about transmission through drinking untreated water. Prevention measures most frequently implemented were drinking only bottled water (85% [79%–90%]) and washing hands with soap (71% [67%–78%]). No residual chlorine was detected in 78% of households without bottled water. Poor households were less likely than non-poor households to drink bottled water (OR=0.5 [0.2 – 0.9]), wash hands with soap (OR=0.4 [0.2 – 0.7]), or have received prevention messages (OR=0.3 [0.2 – 0.5]). Conclusion: While the cholera prevention campaign reached many households in the capital, knowledge of risk factors remained low. Nevertheless, many households were implementing measures to reduce cholera risk. Additional messaging is needed, possibly informed by qualitative investigations, and targeted at poorer households. Key words: cholera, risk communication, socioeconomic status.

Author (s): 

Yira Tavarez, Leonel Lerebours, Julie Harris, Percy Minaya, Luis Bonilla, Oliver Morgan, Raquel Pimentel.

Presenter (s): 
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