José E. Hasemann Awarded IAF Fellowship for Field Research

Congratulations to José Enrique Hasemann, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at UCONN, for receiving an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship! José’s project will investigate prevention practices for the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where the vector is associated with the spread of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Formative research in low-income neighborhoods in Honduras indicates that public health programs targeting mosquito-borne diseases focus on perceived inherent characteristics of target populations and implicitly tend to blame the affected populations for the spread of disease. This study will examine 1) local perceptions of mosquito-borne disease; 2) discourse of public health interventions for mosquito-borne diseases; 3) residents’ views of intervention programs and local conditions of life; 4) interactions between public health agents and local populations. This study will provide insight into how individuals affected by the Ae. aegypti vector make sense of the conditions that predispose them to infection and incorporate prevention messages into their daily lives. The anthropological focus of this research will contribute to integrated vector management approaches and new ways of understanding how individuals think about their health and their lives in relation to vector-borne disease throughout the year, when epidemics are not taking place and public health surveillance is minimal.


Jose Hasemann