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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Mobilizing community-based health insurance to enhance awareness & prevention of airborne, vector-borne & waterborne diseases in rural India

Pradeep Panda, Arpita Chakraborty, David M Dror
Indian Journal of Medical Research 2015, 142 (2): 151-64
26354212

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Despite remarkable progress in airborne, vector-borne and waterborne diseases in India, the morbidity associated with these diseases is still high. Many of these diseases are controllable through awareness and preventive practice. This study was an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of a preventive care awareness campaign in enhancing knowledge related with airborne, vector-borne and waterborne diseases, carried out in 2011 in three rural communities in India (Pratapgarh and Kanpur-Dehat in Uttar Pradesh and Vaishali in Bihar).

METHODS: Data for this analysis were collected from two surveys, one done before the campaign and the other after it, each of 300 randomly selected households drawn from a larger sample of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) members invited to join community-based health insurance (CBHI) schemes.

RESULTS: The results showed a significant increase both in awareness (34%, p<0.001) and in preventive practices (48%, P=0.001), suggesting that the awareness campaign was effective. However, average practice scores (0.31) were substantially lower than average awareness scores (0.47), even in post-campaign. Awareness and preventive practices were less prevalent in vector-borne diseases than in airborne and waterborne diseases. Education was positively associated with both awareness and practice scores. The awareness scores were positive and significant determinants of the practice scores, both in the pre- and in the post-campaign results. Affiliation to CBHI had significant positive influence on awareness and on practice scores in the post-campaign period.

INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that well-crafted health educational campaigns can be effective in raising awareness and promoting health-enhancing practices in resource-poor settings. It also confirms that CBHI can serve as a platform to enhance awareness to risks of exposure to airborne, vector-borne and waterborne diseases, and encourage preventive practices.

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