Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions towards Microbial Larviciding in Malaria Vector Control, Lower Moshi Tanzania: A Mixed Methods Study
Background: Malaria remains a significant threat to public health in many countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. To address this preventable health problem, there is need to evaluate the existing and identify new prevention methods. Integrated vector management approaches including microbial larviciding are effective in the fight against malaria. The need to explore the applicability of microbial larviciding in malaria endemic areas is critical. This study assessed community knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and acceptability of microbial larviciding as a malaria control strategy in Lower Moshi, Tanzania.
Methods: A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted in Chekereni and Mabogini villages in Lower Moshi Tanzania. The two villages were purposively selected because most of the community members in these villages cultivate rice and researchers had good rapport with the community members. 100 interviewer-administered questionnaires were conducted in households. In addition, 4 in-depth interviews with key informers including health workers and agricultural experts, and 2 focus group discussions were conducted in the two villages.
Results: 60% reported they had knowledge or experience with larviciding. Most of them (96%) mentioned they had knowledge of chemical larviciding, while only 4 % had knowledge of microbial larviciding. Nearly every respondent (97%) was willing to use fertilizer with larvicides in their rice fields after being informed about larviciding. Almost all (97%) reported willingness to inform and encourage other community members to use microbial larviciding in their rice fields. Similarly, many of the respondents (56%) were positive that microbial larviciding would significantly help in reducing malaria cases. Concerns about applicability of microbial larviciding were reported by survey respondents, focus group discussion participants and in-depth interview respondents.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the community in Lower Moshi, despite having little knowledge, is positive about and willing to be engaged in microbial larviciding to reduce the mosquito population in the area and consequently to reduce malaria cases in the community. The future applicability of microbial larviciding with rice farmers in Lower Moshi Tanzania as a component of an integrated vector management strategy lies in the efforts put towards educating and sensitizing the community and creating incentives so that farmers can afford the fertilizers with larvicides.
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Rights for Collection: Masters Theses