Polisye kont moustik: A culturally competent approach to larval source reduction in the context of lymphatic filariasis and malaria elimination in Haiti

Kevin Louis Bardosh*, Lorence Jean, Valery Madsen Beau De Rochars, Jean Frantz Lemoine, Bernard Okech, Sadie Jane Ryan, Sue Welburn, J. Glenn Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community engagement has become an increasingly important focus of global health programs. Arbovirus emergence in the Americas (Zika and chikungunya virues), and global goals for malaria and lymphatic filariasis elimination, mean that community-based mosquito control has taken on a new salience. But how should mosquito control initiatives be designed and implemented in ways that best engage local people? What are the challenges and trade-offs of different strategies, not only for effectiveness but also for scale-up? In this paper, we describe the social and political dynamics of a pilot study in a small town in northern Haiti. With the aim of developing a culturally-competent approach to larval source management (LSM), our pilot project combined larval surveillance with environmental management, social engagement, community education, and larvicide application. Orientated around a network of ‘Mosquito Police’ (Polisye Kont Moustik, in Haitian Creole), our approach integrated elements of formative research, social learning, and community participation. Here, we reflect on the challenges we encountered in the field, from larval mapping, staff management, education and behavior change, engagement with formal and informal leaders, and community-based environmental cleanup. We discuss how these programmatic efforts were influenced and shaped by a complex range of social, cultural, political, and economic realities, and conclude by discussing the implications of our community-based approach for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis and malaria, and other vector-borne diseases, in Haiti.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community-based
  • Haiti
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Malaria
  • Mosquitoes
  • Participation
  • Social science
  • Vector control

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