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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497


LIMA-COSTA, Maria Fernanda et al. An epidemiological study on the effectiveness of an educational program for controlling schistosomiasis in Minas Gerais. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2002, vol.5, n.1, pp.116-128. ISSN 1415-790X.

The objective of the present study was to determine the impact of a community mobilization program (educational activities) in the first community of Minas Gerais (Patis) where this activity was developed, as part of the national schistosomiasis control program (PCE/PCDEN). The prevalence of the infection in Patis (study area) between 1984 and 1994 was compared with that of Muquem (control area). A cross sectional study was carried out to determine demographic characteristics (age, gender and time of residence in the area), household features (water supply, disposal system, presence of shower and distance from streams), water contact patterns and knowledge on prevention/transmission of schistosomiasis in the two communities. In Patis we also examined the factors associated with water contact in the previous 12 months. The prevalence of the infection in the two periods differed for the two communities compared (43.2 and 17.2% in Patis, and 38.2 and 33.7% in Muquem, respectively). However, the reduction in the prevalence of the infection in the study area could not be attributed to community mobilization because it had already occurred before the beginning of these activities. Knowledge on prevention and transmission of the infection was high, but this knowledge was not associated with the water contact pattern. Only the 10-19 years (OR= 4.0; IC 95%: 2.1-7.4) and > 20 years (OR=1.9; IC 95%: 1.1-3.2) age groups, and the male gender (OR=2.1; IC 95%: 1.4-3.5) were independently associated with water contact. We concluded that the community mobilization program was ineffective: (a) to deliver information on prevention and transmission of schistosomiasis, (b) to transform this knowledge on behavioral changes, and/or (c) to reduce the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection.

Keywords : Evaluation of health programs; Impact; Effectiveness; Schistosomiasis; Schistosoma mansoni; Epidemiology; Health Education; Community mobilization.

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