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House improvements and community participation in the control of Triatoma dimidiata re-infestation in Jutiapa, Guatemala

DOI: 10.1590/S0102-311X2009001300016

Keywords: chagas disease, consumer participation, housing sanitation, housing.

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Abstract:

the deterioration or absence of plaster walls in houses and poor hygienic conditions are the most important risk factors for indoor triatoma dimidiata infestation in guatemala. a cross-disciplinary study was conducted addressing t. dimidiata infestation, household hygiene, and housing construction. the study focused on local materials and cultural aspects (including gender roles) that could lead to long-term improvements in wall construction. a new plaster mix for walls was developed on the basis of laboratory studies on construction materials recommended by local villagers. four villages with persistent (post-spraying) t. dimidiata infestation were studied. in two villages, an ecosystem approach was implemented, and the homeowners conducted wall improvements and household sanitation with the support of the interdisciplinary team (the ecosystem intervention). in the other two villages, a vector control approach based on insecticide spraying was adopted (traditional intervention). both interventions were associated with a reduction in t. dimidiata infestation, but only the ecosystem approach produced important housing improvements (sanitation and wall construction) capable of preventing t. dimidiata re-infestation in the long term.

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