Soc Sci Med. 1995 Dec; 41(12): 1705-13.
Socio-cultural and behavioural aspects of mosquito-borne lymphatic filariasis in Thailand: a qualitative analysis.
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University at Salaya, Nakhonpathom, Thailand.
This study examines the contribution of socio-cultural and behavioural factors in mosquito-borne lymphatic filariasis transmission in Southern Thailand. Research was conducted in Nakorn-srithamarat province, which is noted for having the nation's highest Brugia malayi filariasis morbidity rate. Factors examined include traditional knowledge and cultural beliefs concerning etiology, transmission and symptomatology; perceived susceptibility and severity: social stigma: social support in disease prevention and control; and behavioural risk factors and illness behaviours. Data were collected through a multi-method, predominantly qualitative-based approach, including rapid survey and mapping, group interviews, focus group discussions, indepth interviews, and participant observation. Results indicate that poor knowledge and lay, indigenous, traditional belief systems contribute to high risk behaviours, and inappropriate preventive, illness and treatment choice behaviours. Behavioural models for explaining filariasis risk, preventive, illness and treatment choice behaviours are presented. Finally, recommendations for more effective health education programmes are offered.