Dengue fever is a vector-borne disease transmitted by the Aedes (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquito, with a presence in more than 100 countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality globally, particularly in the Americas. As an alternative to mosquito habitat control, international health organizations propose community empowerment methodologies shaped by recommendations resulting from the understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of communities towards the disease. This study focuses on the Ladera region of the city of Cali, Colombia, a community identified as high risk for dengue fever in a dengue-endemic city. The objective is to understand KAP towards dengue fever of the people in the region after the 2010 dengue epidemic, when extensive educational campaigns were conducted to fight the disease. One hundred forty-six people were surveyed in four health facilities, each located in a different comuna (commune) of the study area. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents were female, 83 percent were between the age of 18 and 65, and almost half of the sample only completed elementary education. Indices were calculated for each dimension of the survey. Results are compared by comuna within the region and to a recent similar study conducted in Cali. The Χ2Χ2 statistic was used to test for the significance of socio-demographic variables (that is sex, age, and education) on the responses to the survey questions and the indices values. A multinomial regression model was run using as a dependent variable each KAP index and as independent variables the socio-demographic variables. Results show individuals exhibit medium to high levels of knowledge, positive attitudes, and medium to low levels of practicing preventive measures. Spatial patterns on the indices and responses to questions in the sample were not identified. Socio-demographic variables do not show strong relationships with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices indexes. Results are comparable to those obtained in a more recent KAP study conducted in the city. These findings can help determine differences between communities to design and improve initiatives targeted to the needs of populations at risk and identify behavioral changes through time.
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