Determinants of Health Service Responsiveness in Community-Based Vector Surveillance for Chagas Disease in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras
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CitationHashimoto, Ken, Concepción Zúniga, Eduardo Romero, Zoraida Morales, and James H. Maguire. 2015. “Determinants of Health Service Responsiveness in Community-Based Vector Surveillance for Chagas Disease in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.” PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9 (8): e0003974. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003974.
AbstractBackground: Central American countries face a major challenge in the control of Triatoma dimidiata, a widespread vector of Chagas disease that cannot be eliminated. The key to maintaining the risk of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi at lowest levels is to sustain surveillance throughout endemic areas. Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras integrated community-based vector surveillance into local health systems. Community participation was effective in detection of the vector, but some health services had difficulty sustaining their response to reports of vectors from the population. To date, no research has investigated how best to maintain and reinforce health service responsiveness, especially in resource-limited settings. Methodology/Principal Findings We reviewed surveillance and response records of 12 health centers in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras from 2008 to 2012 and analyzed the data in relation to the volume of reports of vector infestation, local geography, demography, human resources, managerial approach, and results of interviews with health workers. Health service responsiveness was defined as the percentage of households that reported vector infestation for which the local health service provided indoor residual spraying of insecticide or educational advice. Eight potential determinants of responsiveness were evaluated by linear and mixed-effects multi-linear regression. Health service responsiveness (overall 77.4%) was significantly associated with quarterly monitoring by departmental health offices. Other potential determinants of responsiveness were not found to be significant, partly because of short- and long-term strategies, such as temporary adjustments in manpower and redistribution of tasks among local participants in the effort. Conclusions/Significance: Consistent monitoring within the local health system contributes to sustainability of health service responsiveness in community-based vector surveillance of Chagas disease. Even with limited resources, countries can improve health service responsiveness with thoughtful strategies and management practices in the local health systems.
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