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

Date Published: August 12, 2015

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Josephine Rebecca Chandren, Li Ping Wong, Sazaly AbuBakar, Oladele B. Akogun.

Abstract: BackgroundDengue 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.MethodsA cross-sectional survey was conducted in 16 randomly selected Orang Asli villages from eight states in Peninsular Malaysia from April 2012 until February 2013.ResultsA 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.ConclusionFindings 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.

Partial Text: Dengue fever is a serious problem overwhelming the world: annually, there are about 50–100 million dengue infections [1] which include 500,000 dengue hemorrhagic fever DHF cases with 22,000 deaths, mostly among children [2]. In the year 2085, is it estimated at least 50–60% of the world population will be at risk of dengue fever [3]. In Malaysia, the morbidity rate for DHF was the highest recorded from 1987 to 1991 among adults aged 20–29 years [4]. WHO recorded an increase of two times the incidence rate of dengue fever from the year 2012, with 21,900 cases, compared to year 2013, with 49,346 cases, in Malaysia.

Among the 560 Orang Asli approached from eight states in Peninsular Malaysia, a total of 505 complete responses were obtained with 90.1% response rate. Orang Asli participants who could not comprehend Bahasa Melayu were excluded in this study (n = 3). The survey was conducted between 14 April 2012 and 5 February 2013.



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