Open Access Research article

Use and acceptance of long lasting insecticidal net screens for dengue prevention in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

Catrin H Jones1, David Benítez-Valladares2, Guillermo Guillermo-May3, Felipe Dzul-Manzanilla4, Azael Che-Mendoza5, Mario Barrera-Pérez3, Celia Selem-Salas3, Juan Chablé-Santos3, Johannes Sommerfeld2, Axel Kroeger12, Timothy O’Dempsey1, Anuar Medina-Barreiro3 and Pablo Manrique-Saide3*

Author Affiliations

1 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK

2 Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, (TDR, WHO), Av Appia, Geneva 1211, Switzerland

3 Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Carretera Mérida-Xmatkuil Km. 15.5, Mérida C.P. 97315, Mexico

4 Servicios Estatales de Salud de Guerrero, Avenue Ruffo Figueroa No. 6, Col. Burócratas, Chilpancingo C. P. 39090, México

5 Servicios de Salud de Yucatán, Laboratorio Estatal de Salud Pública, C. 39-C No. 345-A X 2-A Y 4 Col. Mayapán, Merida C.P. 97159, México

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:846  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-846

Published: 14 August 2014



Dengue, recognized by the WHO as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world, is a growing problem. Currently, the only effective way of preventing dengue is vector control. Standard methods have shown limited effect, and there have been calls to develop new integrated vector management approaches. One novel tool, protecting houses with long lasting insecticidal screens on doors and windows, is being trialled in a cluster randomised controlled trial by a joint UADY/WHO TDR/IDRC study in various districts of Acapulco, Mexico, with exceptionally high levels of crime and insecurity.

This study investigated the community’s perspectives of long lasting insecticidal screens on doors and windows in homes and in schools, in order to ascertain their acceptability, to identify challenges to further implementation and opportunities for future improvements.


This was a sequential mixed-methods study. The quantitative arm contained a satisfaction survey administered to 288 houses that had received the intervention examining their perspectives of both the intervention and dengue prevention in general. The qualitative arm consisted of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with those who had accepted the intervention and key informant interviews with: schoolteachers to discuss the use of the screens in schools, program staff, and community members who had refused the intervention.


Overall satisfaction and acceptance of the screens was very high, with only some operational and technical complaints relating to screen fragility and the installation process. However, the wider social context of urban violence and insecurity was a major barrier to screen acceptance. Lack of information dissemination and community collaboration were identified as project weaknesses.


The screens are widely accepted by the population, but the project implementation could be improved by reassuring the community of its legitimacy in the context of insecurity. More community engagement and better information sharing structures are needed.

The screens could be a major new dengue prevention tool suitable for widespread use, if further research supports their entomological and epidemiological effectiveness and their acceptability in different social and environmental contexts. Further research is needed looking at the impact of insecurity of dengue prevention programmes.

Dengue vectors; Long lasting insecticidal nets; Door and window screens; Community acceptance; Mexico