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BACKGROUND: Scrub typhus is highly endemic in northern Thailand yet awareness and knowledge are low. We developed a community engagement project to improve awareness in communities at risk of contracting scrub typhus. METHODS: We conducted a series of engagement sessions with healthcare workers and community health volunteers so they would, in turn, engage with their communities. We evaluated our activities by assessing the increase in scrub typhus knowledge, using a series of Likert-scale items and open-ended questions. Three to 6 months after the sessions, participants were followed up to collect their experiences training community members. RESULTS: Of 134 participants who took part in eight sessions, 87.3% were community health volunteers. Disease knowledge increased substantially after the sessions and was well maintained for up to 5 mo. Satisfaction was high and, through participant feedback, engagement materials were improved to be more useful to the communities. People with higher education had higher scores and retention. CONCLUSIONS: Community engagement was shown to be an effective tool to develop and carry out health-promoting activities in a culturally and context-appropriate manner.

Original publication




Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date



community engagement, health literacy, prevention and control, scrub typhus