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Title: Vector-Borne Disease Management: An Analysis of Healthcare Seeking Behavior for Chagas Disease and Dengue Fever
Authors: Hutton, Roberta
Advisors: Dobson, Andrew
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Vector borne diseases account for 17% of all infectious diseases causing more than 1 million deaths annually, and disproportionately impact some of the poorest countries of the developing world (from the World Health Organization - WHO). Chagas disease and dengue fever are endemic in Colombia and throughout Latin America despite extensive public health campaigns. Both diseases can progress into potentially lethal complications: chronic Chagas disease (cardiac and gastrointestinal damage) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (life-threatening hemorrhaging). Treatment has been found to be more effective the earlier these diseases are detected (WHO). Addressing barriers to health care and improving local public health campaigns can encourage people to: (1) Disrupt the vector reproduction cycle and avoid the adult vector and (2) pursue treatment of the disease early through addressing barriers to seeking healthcare. Behavior change interventions could improve the ability to respond to epidemics in a timely manner and motivate communities when and where to target vector control. In this survey-based study, we focus on the important, yet under-valued, social component of eco-bio-social research to improve vector borne disease management. We study knowledge of Chagas disease and dengue fever and healthcare seeking behavior in Medellin, Colombia. We explore the effectiveness of the public health campaigns in Medellín and identify the most influential factors in going to the doctor if participants presented with the symptoms of Chagas disease or dengue fever. We also analyzed healthcare seeking behavior for parents with respect to their children for these two diseases. This study suggests barriers to healthcare and gaps in knowledge of Chagas disease and dengue fever that are significantly impacted by socioeconomic status. This emphasizes the importance of improving public health measures and exemplifies how poverty can sustain the transmission of vector borne diseases and limit their treatment.
Extent: 84 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2017

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