Effectiveness of hand foot mouth disease prevention and control measures between high and low epidemic areas, Northern Thailand
A qualitative approach
Purpose – Hand foot mouth disease (HFMD) is an emerging disease caused by Enterovirus. HFMD usually occurs in South-East Asian countries including Thailand. Thailand has been indicated as one of the countries having high epidemic rate in children less than five years of age, particularly in the northern regions. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative method was used to extract information from 48 informants from two different areas; high and low epidemic areas of HFMD. Question guidelines were developed from literature review and viewed by three external experts in the field before use. Interviews took place in a private and confidential room. Each interview lasted approximately 50 minutes.
Findings – There are no policies regarding HFMD control in both high and low epidemic areas of HFMD. The staff at sub-district local government level did not have the necessary qualifications for HFMD control. Additionally, staff were not stable, and there was a lack of a disease control team. Antiseptics for cleaning day care centers (DCC) were not effective for disease control; most DCC use Dettol®, soap, dishwashing liquid, detergent and water for cleaning the environment. These antiseptics do not include chlorine making it ineffective in destroying the virus.
Originality/value – The sub-district local government should be concerned about HFMD control; the staff should have the necessary qualifications suitable for disease control. Standard and practical HFMD control guideline should be set up and used in DCC.
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