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Curtin University
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health

Risk Factors for Leptospirosis and the Impact of an Intervention to Reduce Exposures (2010-2012)


Chief Investigators

PhD Candidate

  • Mr Mateus Sakundarno Adi (WACHPR, Curtin University)

Collaborating Partners

  • Curtin WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Impact Assessment, Curtin University
  • Faculty of Public Health Diponegoro University, Semarang – Indonesia
  • Demak District Health Office and Central Java Province Health Office


  • Curtin University PhD program funding
  • Directorate General of Higher Education, Indonesian Ministry of National Education

Project Aim

  • This study will identify local risk factors for leptospirosis and then design, implement and evaluate an intervention that will reduce exposure to risk factors.


Leptospirosis is endemic in Indonesia with an increasing number of annual leptospirosis cases. Previous studies indicate that activities in wet places or occupational contact with water, the existence of skin wounds and the existence of rats in the home are the main risk factors of leptospirosis found in developing countries. Activities to control leptospirosis have been undertaken in Indonesia but lacked planning and evaluation.

Project Overview

The study will be divided into two main phases, a leptospirosis risk factors study and a pilot intervention study. The first phase will focus on gathering evidence base information on local social, behaviour and environmental characteristics related to the occurrence of leptospirosis. The second phase will focus on an intervention to reduce exposure to leptospirosis risk factors. The study is conducted in the district of Demak, Indonesia. Participants include key informants, observed persons, efficacy trial and KAP survey participants.


  • Risk factor study: (1) Review of literature on local leptospirosis risk factor; (2) Social behavioural study; (3) Field observation; (4) Prioritising local risk factors for intervention.
  • Intervention study is in the form of pilot efficacy trial and a pre/post knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey will be implemented.
  • Key informants, observed persons, efficacy trial and KAP survey participants will be selected according predetermined criteria.
  • Evaluation will focus on formative evaluation, process evaluation (tracking the progress of intervention implementation) and on impact evaluation (evaluating the change of exposure to behavioural or environmental risk factors of leptospirosis).

Current Project Status

In the period of October 2010 – December 2010, this study is in the phase of collecting and analysing data for the first phase (social behaviour study and field observation), consequently, results of this study cannot be reported in this first report session.

Projected Key Outcomes

This study is significant to health programmers working on leptospirosis prevention locally, nationally and internationally. It will develop a leptospirosis KAP (knowledge, attitude and practice) survey, a risk assessment observation tool for assessing exposure to leptospirosis risk factors and develop an efficacy trial to reduce exposure to leptospirosis risk factors. Methods used and the results of an intervention program will provide important inputs and basic information for further research and control methods in the field of leptospirosis prevention or in infectious diseases prevention.


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