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Strengthening the Resilience of Can Tho City through Participation

and Intervention on Dengue Fever

in the Context of Climate Change

Program Locations: Can Tho, Vietnam
Project Duration: January 2012–December 2014
Project Lead: Richard Friend, Senior Staff Scientist

Project Overview

This project works directly with the Can Tho City Preventative Health Center (PHC) to determine if a relationship occurs between climate change and the increasing number of mosquitoes leading to dengue fever incidence and mortality. Furthermore, this study aims to find behaviors linked to weather and dengue (such as increasing water storage in the dry season) that could be used to forecast the kinds of changes that could occur as a result of climate change. Using research and intervention approaches, assessments were created on the capacity of the health sector and vulnerability of people in the Can Tho districts of Ninh Kieu and Binh Thuy. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a more proactive approach towards dengue fever and climate change by understanding perceptions and developing a new dengue fever monitoring and surveillance system, along with identifying barriers to health care and responses to extreme weather conditions.

Core Program Activities

  • Participatory epidemiology research (PER): Engaged patients, local communities, health workers, and government officers in identifying key factors that impact dengue fever outbreaks by using the PER approach, which supplements the traditional research paradigms and emphasizes partnership within the community through research activity.

  • Retrospective research: Used past climate data and cases on dengue fever in Can Tho to find out if any relationship between dengue fever and climate variability in Can Tho. Based on that, the intervention activities are proposed to the relevant stakeholders for planning.

  • Knowledge, attitude, and practice studies (KAP) survey: Developed questionnaires about knowledge, attitude, and practice among the community, heath workers, and government officers of all levels. Organized with households and conducted in-depth interviews with heath workers and government officials on different levels. Organized community-level group discussions with a wide range of citizens to identify knowledge gaps, attitudes, and local practices to respond to dengue fever outbreaks. Systemized practices in outbreak prevention and control, and proposed interventions to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities.

  • Monitoring and surveillance system: Established pilot surveillance and monitoring systems for dengue fever with high sensitivity to climate change impacts and dengue fever exposure. Informed policy makers about the magnitude of the actual or potential impacts of climate change. Provided data for empirical studies of climate-dengue fever relationships. Created model validation/calibration and value adaption strategies.

  • Workshops, trainings, and SLDs: Created an intervention plan based on results of the studies in the most exposed areas to dengue fever. Held training sessions using participatory action-oriented training (PAOT) to facilitate sharing of local lessons available to the community by visiting participants’ households. Held workshops for local leaders, mass organizations, NGOs, experts, and government leaders at different levels to develop plans for dengue fever prevention and control. Hosted a final workshop to share project results to leaders of salinity affected provinces, experts, and researches interested in the saline intrusion of the Mekong Delta.

  • Piloting model to change behavior to better control dengue fever: Developed demonstration models to address issues of (i) how to meaningfully engage residents in sustained control actions; (ii) how to effectively communicate with residents in sustained controlled areas; and (iii) how to measure impacts of residents’ actions on breeding sites. 

Project Publications

Staff Involved

Project Partners

Amy Yomiko Vittor


Dang Van Chinh


Can Tho Medical Colleage


Can Tho Medical University

Funded by:

Strengthening the Resilience of Can Tho City through Participation

and Intervention on Dengue Fever

in the Context of Climate Change

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