Open Access Research article

Dengue in peri-urban Pak-Ngum district, Vientiane capital of Laos: a community survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices

Mayfong Mayxay123*, Wanyuan Cui4, Sounthone Thammavong5, Khamphong Khensakhou5, Viengnakhone Vongxay1, Latdaphone Inthasoum1, Vanphanom Sychareun1 and Gregory Armstrong4

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Postgraduate Studies, University of Health Sciences, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2 Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU), Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR

3 Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

4 Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

5 Pak-Ngum District Health Office, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:434  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-434

Published: 3 May 2013



Dengue remains an important cause of morbidity in Laos. Good knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among the public regarding dengue prevention are required for the success of disease control. Very little is known about dengue KAP among the Lao general population.


This was a KAP household survey on dengue conducted in a peri-urban Pak-Ngum district of Vientiane capital, Laos. A two-stage cluster sampling method was used to select a sample of participants to represent the general community. Participants from 231 households were surveyed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire.


Although 97% of the participants heard of dengue, there was a lack of depth of knowledge on dengue: 33% of them did not know that malaria and dengue were different diseases, 32% incorrectly believed that Aedes mosquito transmits malaria, 36% could not correctly report that Aedes mosquitoes bite most frequently at sunrise and sunset; and < 10% of them recognized that indoor water containers could be Aedes mosquito breeding sites. Attitude levels were moderately good with a high proportion (96%) of participants recognizing that dengue was a severe yet preventable disease. Self reported prevention methods were quite high yet observation of the participants’ yards showed use of prevention methods to be only moderate. The majority (93%) of the interviewees did not believe that they had enough information on dengue. There was an association between good knowledge and better practices, but good knowledge was associated with worse attitudes.


There is a lack of depth of knowledge regarding dengue in Pak-Ngum community and observation methods revealed that more needs to be done by community members themselves to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes.

Dengue; Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Vientiane; Laos