Academic journal article Journal of Gender and Social Issues

Perceived Susceptibility of Dengue Fever in District Swat

Academic journal article Journal of Gender and Social Issues

Perceived Susceptibility of Dengue Fever in District Swat

Article excerpt

Byline: Mr. Abdul Zahir, Dr. Asad Ullah, Dr. Mussawar Shah and Mr. Arsalan Mussawar

Key words: Dengue fever, residential area, Population density, sanitation.


Dengue fever is a break bone fever, which appears with symptoms of headaches, high temperature, muscular/bone pains and decrease of platelets (Gubler, 2010). Dengue fever is a viral disease which has four stereotypes (DENV-1 to DENV-4) and is transmitted through the female mosquito known as Aedesaegypti. The serious circumstances of dengue fever are Dengue hemorrhagic fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome (Guzman, 2002). The Dengue hemorrhagic fever has symptoms of high temperature, bleeding, low platelet counts and plasma leakage due to low concentration of proteins and albumins in blood (Pan American Health Organization, 1994). Dengue shock syndrome occurs after 2-7 days of dengue hemorrhagic fever along with symptoms of low blood pressure and pulse, belly pain and restlessness (World Health Organization, 1997). The health belief model (HBM) is the theoretical approach to dengue prevention.

The basic parts of HBM are perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, cues-to-action, perceived benefits, perceived barriers and self-efficacy.

The perceived severity is concerned with how people look and understand the health consequences and outcomes of dengue fever. The perceived susceptibility is also known perceived vulnerability which is associated with risk and enhances the chances of diseases. These two principles (perceived severity and vulnerability) of HBM model collectively cover the susceptibility aspects of the health. The principle of cues-to-action is associated with anything that may improve awareness or interest to control diseases and improve health related planning. The cues-to-action could be an awareness campaign using electronic, print and social media for health education. The principle of perceived benefits refers to the beliefs of the people in the value of adhering to health related procedures to control the disease with positive outcomes. Self-efficacy refers to the confidence of people in taking action to accomplish a task in health education.

The Health Belief Model (HBM) is a step by step approach to prevent dengue fever and also encourage people to clean up dengue breeding places regularly. Similarly, perceived barriers are concerned with the assessment of people about obstacles to change their behavior and perceived costs which prevent people from taking action to control disease. If the perceived benefits do not balance the perceived costs, the proposed activity will not be implemented (Strecher and Rosentock, 1997).


Historically the dengue fever was considered as "water poison" disease in 265-420 A.D. which was reproduced in water by flying insects. During the 18th and 19th centuries, international business increased the spreading of dengue fever throughout the world. The most recent outbreak of dengue fever was recorded in Africa, Asia and North America in 1779. After World War II, dengue hemorrhagic fever also spread to Southeast Asia and affected the Caribbean and Latin America in 1980 (Gubler and Clark, 1995). Brazil and the western pacific countries like Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam also faced this outbreak recently (World Health Organization, 1999). The dengue hemorrhagic fever emerged for the first time in Manila in1953 and became generalized in Southeast Asia in 1970, spreading to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1980 (Gubler, 1997). The first dengue epidemic occurred in Pakistan in 1994 and lasted two years in Karachi. (Paul et al, 1998; and Wasayet al, 2008).

Afterwards, the epidemic occurred regularly during the months of August to December (Tahir et al, 2010). The congested houses and standing water also provided a suitable environment for dengue proliferation (, 2011).In most urban areas, the control over dengue virus is not practiced properly due to poor public health facilities and water management (Gubler, 2002). …

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