This case study addresses cross-sectorial management of zoonotic parasitic diseases at provincial and district level in Southern Laos. It is contributing to a better cross-sectorial management of zoonotic diseases in Laos with a focus on parasitic food-borne diseases at family level in 3 provinces of Southern Laos.
The team conducted Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Epidemiology (PE) surveys in 9 villages of 3 different provinces (Khammoune, Savannakhet and Champasak) of Southern Laos in order to better understand local stakeholders’ knowledge, perceptions and practices linked to PFBD, and also to compare the literature review with field results. The PRA/PE finding’s analysis conducted in 2016 emphasizes on perception, knowledge and practice of the people that shape the risk context of PFBD. Along the analysis process, the progress was reported to the Technical Working Groups board that have been setup under the authority of a “One health PFBD” inter-ministerial platform and feedback and suggestion on the further activities was also obtained. Three feedback meetings have been organized in the 3 targeted provinces. Posters showing PE/PRA activities and result of each target villages were produced and provided to the village representatives. The participants agreed to the research finding and supported further collaboration for cross-sectoral collaboration efforts at provincial and district level.
In terms of capacity building, this case study enhanced, through the PRA and PE, the interdisciplinary team working, transdisciplinary effort and experience, project planning and management and the collaboration between universities’ laboratories (TDR-L from Khon Kaen and NUoL). It also permitted the setting of a steering committee between the faculties, local governors and 6 Lao ministries.
The main results of 2016 PRA and PE surveys are listed here below:
Studies revealed that the 2 main health problems, according to the stakeholders, are linked to the liver and the stomach (76.5%), roundworms and tapeworms are commonly mentioned but local stakeholders have no knowledge or a wrong perception of the causes and prevention methods against parasites diseases. The PRA and PE surveys also highlighted that the main risk behaviour was the consumption of raw food (pig, beef, fish and vegetables).
A specific study about the prevalence of trichinella were done in the Savannakhet province, collecting pig blood samples as well as a questionnaire to better understand the environment and context. The study revealed a 17.7% of trichinella prevalence in pigs in the area, which is higher than the last found prevalence (9.3%), the sero-prevalence was also higher in local and/or cross breed pigs and increasing with age. A significant high prevalence was found in one particular district (songkhone) highlighting the fact that there is important differences between districts in the same province. Moreover, in this particular district, the proportion of pigs using free range is higher than the other district.