Piloting the promotion of bamboo skirt barriers to prevent nipah virus transmission through date palm sap in bangladesh

Nazmun Nahar, Utpal Kumar Mondal, M. Jahangir Hossain, M. Salah Uddin Khan, Rebeca Sultana, Emily S. Gurley, Stephen P. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drinking raw date palm sap contaminated with infected fruit bat saliva or urine is an important mode of Nipah virus transmission to humans in Bangladesh. Bamboo skirts are an effective way to interrupt bat access to the sap. We conducted a study from November 2008 to March 2009 to explore the effectiveness of higher-and lower-intensity interventions by promoting bamboo skirt preparation and use among sap harvesters (gachhis). We spent 280 person-hours in two villages for the higher-intensity intervention and half that amount of time in two other villages for the lowerintensity intervention. To evaluate the interventions we followed up all gachhis once a month for three months. A high percentage of gachhis (83% in higher-, 65% in lower-intensity interventions) prepared and used a skirt of bamboo or other materials-jute stalk, dhoincha (Sesbania aculeata), or polythene-at least once after intervention. In general, 15% of gachhis consistently used skirts throughout the sap collection season. The intensive nature of this intervention is very expensive for a large-scale programme. Future efforts should focus on developing a low-cost behaviour change intervention and evaluate if it reduces the human exposure to potentially contaminated fresh date palm sap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal health promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Communicable disease
  • Community
  • Health behaviour
  • Health promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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