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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Steve Lindsay

Vanek, M.J., Shoo, B., Mtasiwa, D., Kiama, M., Lindsay, S.W., Fillinger, U., Kannady, K., Tanner, M. & Killeen, G.F. (2006). Community-based surveillance of malaria vector larval habitats: a baseline study in urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. BMC Public Health 6: 154.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Background
As the population of Africa rapidly urbanizes it may be possible to protect large populations from malaria by controlling aquatic stages of mosquitoes. Here we present a baseline evaluation of the ability of community members to detect mosquito larval habitats with minimal training and supervision in the first weeks of an operational urban malaria control program.

Methods
The Urban Malaria Control Programme of Dar es Salaam recruited and provided preliminary training to teams of Community-Owned Resource Persons (CORPs) who performed weekly surveys of mosquito breeding sites. Two trained mosquito biologists accompanied each of these teams for one week and evaluated the sensitivity of this system for detecting potential Anopheles habitats.

Results
Overall, 42.4% of 986 habitats surveyed by an inspection team had previously been identified by CORPs. Agricultural habitats were detected less often than other habitats (30.8% detected, Odds Ratio [95%CI] = 0.46 [0.29–0.73], P = 0.001). Non-agricultural artificial habitats were less suitable than other habitats (29.3% occupancy, OR = 0.69 [0.46–1.03], P = 0.066) but still constituted 45% (169/289) of occupied habitats because of their abundance (51 % of all habitats).

Conclusion
The levels of coverage achieved by modestly trained and supported CORPs at the start of the Dar es Salaam UMCP were insufficient to enable effective suppression of malaria transmission through larval control. Further operational research is required to develop surveillance systems that are practical, affordable, effective and acceptable so that community-based integrated vector management can be implemented in cities across Africa.