Perceived Risk of Avian Influenza and Urbanization in Northern Vietnam

Published in: EcoHealth, [Epub February 2017] pp 111, doi:10.1007/s10393-017-1213-5

Posted on RAND.org on March 16, 2017

by Melissa L. Finucane, Nghiem Tuyen, Sumeet Saksena, James H. Spencer, Jefferson Fox, Nguyen Lam, Trinh Dinh Thau, Tran Duc Vien, Nancy, Lewis

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is an important public health concern because of potential for widespread morbidity and mortality in humans and poultry and associated devastating economic losses. We examined how perceptions of the risk of HPAI in poultry vary across communes/wards in the north of Vietnam at different levels of urbanization (rural, peri-urban, urban). Analyses of questionnaire responses from 1081 poultry raisers suggested that the perceived risk of HPAI in poultry was highest in peri-urban and rural settings. We also found that perceived risk was higher when respondents rated settings in which they did not live and that the process of change is related to perceived risk. Compared with others, respondents in peri-urban areas reported less disease management planning; respondents in rural areas reported less ability to separate infected poultry. These findings are consistent with, and add to, the limited previous research on the perceived risk of HPAI in poultry in developing countries. What is new in the present findings is that we describe how urbanization is related to people’s perceptions of and ability to respond appropriately to variations in their environment. In particular, the inability to respond is not necessarily because of an inability to perceive change. Rather, rapid and extensive change poses different challenges for poultry management as communes move from rural to peri-urban to urban settings. Our results suggest that health promotion campaigns should address the perceptions and needs of poultry raisers in different settings.

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