Dengue Control Program in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil: problems with health agents' work and population adherence

This study aimed to identify the aspects that interfere with the performance of vector control agents and community health workers and population adherence to dengue control programs. The focal group methodology was applied to discuss the relations between the program, health agents, and population. According to the results, dengue control and prevention were considered relatively unimportant activities, i.e., ideal community health workers would be capable of solving other (supposedly more important) problems. Vector control agents emphasized the population's lack of adherence and the fact that they (the control agents) were confused with garbage collectors (considered less important than community health workers, and with a focus more on productivity than quality). Women frequently blamed neighbors for the dengue problem and associated the disease with lack of hygiene. These aspects have a negative impact on dengue control agents' work and result from the program's vertical structure. Possible solutions would be to incorporate the agents into community health clinics, encourage cooperation between departments, and provide the conditions for them to intervene in the environment.

Dengue; Vector Control; Health Programmes and Projects

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