Designated acceptability of a modified insecticide treated net for malaria control in seasonal migrant farmers in Ikwiriri, Rufiji District, Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
An explorative study on design and acceptability of modified ITNs for seasonal migratory farmers was conducted in the Rufiji flood plains, Ikwiriri Ward, Rufiji District, Tanzania from June to July 2000. The study involved initial situation analysis in the flood plains in December 1999 to assess whether the migratory farmers would accept the use of modified ITNs (shamba nets) in their relatively smaller temporary houses to replace the traditional sleeping bag (mtuti) and smoking of the traditional repellents in their temporary houses which are so porous that they do not bar mosquitoes from entering the houses for their blood meals. Burning of the mosquito repellents in the shamba houses is dangerous since the whole thatch house can catch fire and end up in disaster in terms of human life and economic and agricultural produce. The main objectives of the study was to design modified shamba ITNs and determine factors that are associated with acceptability among the seasonal migratory farmers in Ikwiriri. The study revealed that 33.3% of the study population are women in the childbearing age and 60.8% of the households in the flood plains had at least one under five child. Although migration to the flood plains corresponds with the rainy season and the peaking up of mosquito densities, only11.8% of households have ever used nets in their permanent houses before. In this study, 54.9% of the studied population had formal education which was found to have no significant influence on the use of ITNs to prevent malaria. 96.1% of the participants identified malaria as the major health problem, and 84.3% of the participants knew that mosquito densities increased during rainy seasons, the time when malaria episodes peaks up. About 91.25% knew that malaria was transmitted through mosquito bites, nevertheless less than T% were aware that not all types of mosquitoes transmit malaria. In this study, though there is dual use of medical care, 98% consult health facilities or go to drug shops first when they get sick from malaria. The study revealed that 64.7% of the population used the traditional sleeping bag (mtuti) and the rest used traditional repellents to protect themselves from mosquito bites. After experiencing the shamba ITNs, knowledge about ITNs effectiveness increased to 85.3% from 0% at the start. Preference for colours revealed that 53.9% of the population prefer green, 24.5% blue, and only 9.8% do prefer white coloured nets. About 76.5% became aware that nets need a regular three monthly retreatment for optimal effectiveness against mosquitoes. About 78.4% of the population preferred household net treatment and 15.7% communal dipping, the rest being indifferent. Findings from this study show that the 99% of the farmers accepted, because: they demonstrated mosquito repellent effects, the shamba ITNs fitted the shamba houses sleeping places, vision is not compromised, can have a dual use in the homes and in the permanent homes and are relatively cheaper. So the shamba ITNs have demonstrated that they are potential essential public health goods, which are cost effective in prevention of malaria which should be made sustainably readily available (going to scale) especially in population at great risk of malaria.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RC165.A1T34M79)
Malaria prevention, Migrant farmers, Ikwiriri Rufiji
Mtimba, J. C. T. (2001). Designated acceptability of a modified insecticide treated net for malaria control in seasonal migrant farmers in Ikwiriri, Rufiji District, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.