Representation, attitudes, and practices related to Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in people from Acosta Country, San Jose province, Costa Rica: an exploratory anthropological astudy

An exploratory anthropological study on representations, attitudes, and practices related to Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) among the rural population of Acosta Vountry, Costa Rica, aimed to estimate the applicability of epidemiologically-based control measures. Open interviews with a small sample of individuals from both case and control households provided the basic for a Propositional Discourse Analysis (PDA). Results are that Acosta people consider CL a distinct nosologic entity, but they are mainly interested in its clinical manifestations in children (who are mainly affected), as well as in their own capacity to act on the disease using folk remedies. The idea of control measures on reservoirs, on vectors, or on the spatial and temporal context of contact does not arise spontaneously in people's thinking. Nevertheless, CL is perceived as a disruption in the safe domiciliary and peridomiciliary space, so that control measures intervening there could have a chance for success.

Leishmaniasis; Anthropology; Control; Treatment; Epidemiology


Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br