Mapua, SA, Finda, MF, Nambunga, IH, Msugupakulya, BJ, Ukio, K, Chaki, PP, Tripet, F, Kelly, AH, Christofides, N, Lezaun, J and Okumu, FO (2021) Addressing key gaps in implementation of mosquito larviciding to accelerate malaria vector control in southern Tanzania: results of a stakeholder engagement process in local district councils. Malaria Journal, 20 (1). 123 - ?. ISSN 1475-2875

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BACKGROUND: Larval source management was historically one of the most effective malaria control methods but is now widely deprioritized in Africa, where insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are preferred. However, in Tanzania, following initial successes in urban Dar-es-Salaam starting early-2000s, the government now encourages larviciding in both rural and urban councils nationwide to complement other efforts; and a biolarvicide production-plant has been established outside the commercial capital. This study investigated key obstacles and opportunities relevant to effective rollout of larviciding for malaria control, with a focus on the meso-endemic region of Morogoro, southern Tanzania. METHODS: Key-informants were interviewed to assess awareness and perceptions regarding larviciding among designated health officials (malaria focal persons, vector surveillance officers and ward health officers) in nine administrative councils (n = 27). Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to assess awareness and perceptions of community members in selected areas regarding larviciding (n = 490). Thematic content analysis was done and descriptive statistics used to summarize the findings. RESULTS: A majority of malaria control officials had participated in larviciding at least once over the previous three years. A majority of community members had neutral perceptions towards positive aspects of larviciding, but overall support for larviciding was high, although several challenges were expressed, notably: (i) insufficient knowledge for identifying relevant aquatic habitats of malaria vectors and applying larvicides, (ii) inadequate monitoring of programme effectiveness, (iii) limited financing, and (iv) lack of personal protective equipment. Although the key-informants reported sensitizing local communities, most community members were still unaware of larviciding and its potential. CONCLUSIONS: The larviciding programme was widely supported by both communities and malaria control officials, but there were gaps in technical knowledge, implementation and public engagement. To improve overall impact, it is important to: (i) intensify training efforts, particularly for identifying habitats of important vectors, (ii) adopt standard technical principles for applying larvicides or larval source management, (iii) improve financing for local implementation and (iv) improve public engagement to boost community awareness and participation. These lessons could also be valuable for other malaria endemic areas wishing to deploy larviciding for malaria control or elimination.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via BioMed Central at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biolarvicides, Ifakara Health Institute, Larval source management, Larviciding, Malaria control, Malaria elimination, Public perception, Stakeholders, Tanzania
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 14:42
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 10:47

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