ABSTRACT

Because environmental factors play an essential role in malaria transmission, managing these factors can help to lower disease burden. To supplement existing malaria control approaches, environmental management practices can be undertaken at the community level. In a rural, agricultural region of Lagos state, Nigeria, this study evaluates current knowledge and practices related to mosquito ecology and environmental management for malaria control. Household surveys with 408 randomly selected respondents from the Ifako Ijaiye local government region were undertaken, while qualitative data was gathered through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Residents of Ifako Ijaiye are well aware of the links between mosquitoes, the environment, and malaria, according to the findings. Most respondents stated that cleaning the environment around the home, clearing vegetation around the home, or draining stagnant water can reduce mosquito populations, and 63 percent of respondents reported performing at least one of these techniques to protect themselves from malaria. Many respondents clearly feel that these environmental management strategies are efficient malaria control methods, but their actual efficacy for decreasing vector populations or reducing malaria prevalence in the various ecological settings in which they are used is unknown.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Malaria kills the vast majority of people in Africa south of the Sahara, where it also poses significant social and economic challenges. Malaria is predicted to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion in lost GDP each year, despite the fact that it could be controlled for a fraction of that.

Each year, at least 300 million people worldwide contract acute malaria, resulting in over a million deaths. Around 90% of these deaths occur in Africa, primarily among children under the age of five. Malaria is the greatest cause of death among children under the age of five in Africa (20%), accounting for 10% of the continent’s overall illness burden. In places with high levels of poverty, it accounts for 40% of public health spending, 30% to 50% of in-patient admissions, and up to 50% of outpatient visits. Malaria is Tanzania’s biggest cause of mortality for both adults and children, claiming the lives of 100,000 to 125,000 people each year (CDC, 2005). Environmental factors, such as meteorological conditions (temperature and rainfall), microenvironmental factors, such as local terrain, and human land use and management, all have a significant impact on vector abundance in the transmission of malaria. Because it reduces the available breeding habitat for mosquitoes by removing or modifying stagnant or slow-moving water sources, environmental management is an underutilized but promising vector control technique (Ault, 1994). Environmental management is believed to be able to prevent 42 percent of malaria cases in Sub-Saharan Africa (Pruss-Ustun and Corvalan, 2006). Human activities have a significant impact on the transmission of infectious diseases, such as malaria (Patz et al 2004; Sattenspiel 2000; Weiss & McMichael 2004). Human-caused micro-environmental changes, such as the construction of irrigation schemes and dams, have been found to significantly increase mosquito populations by providing additional breeding habitat (Ijumba et al 2002; Mutero et al 2004). Malaria is thus a particularly serious problem in agricultural areas, where land use modifications aimed at increasing crop yields frequently result in an increase in the amount of surface water. Environmental management is an important part of malaria prevention because it may be used to alter certain micro-environmental factors, such as lowering the volume of slow-moving water in a given location. Installing and maintaining drains, eliminating stagnant water pools, managing vegetation, irrigating sporadically, and changing rivers to promote quicker flowing water are all examples of environmental management (Keiser et al., 2005). Filling holes and larviciding are two further methods (Lindsay et al., 2004; Walker 2002; Yohannes et al., 2005). Several studies have found that reducing mosquito breeding habitat through environmental management has resulted in a considerable drop in mosquito populations in the surrounding area (Ault, 1994; Okech et al., 2008; Yasuoka et al., 2006a; Yohannes et al., 2005). In Nepal, community-based environmental management, which included cleaning vegetation from ponds, draining and filling water-collecting sites, and fixing irrigation canals, resulted in a decrease in malaria rates.

This method of malaria management is generally inexpensive, easy to implement and maintain in local communities, and does not affect individuals or the environment (Keiser et al., 2005). As a result, community-level environmental management, when combined with control techniques such as mosquito nets and executed as part of an integrated vector-management program, could be beneficial in reducing malaria burden.

While environmental management activities are frequently carried out by a central authority or a group of volunteers/workers (Lindsay et al., 2004; Utzinger et al., 2001; Yohannes et al., 2005), there is a growing emphasis on the importance of involving local communities in ongoing, decentralized malaria control activities. Yet, in order to be effective in lowering mosquito populations, household-level environmental management requires adequate community participation. An correct grasp of mosquito biology and habitat requirements is likely to play a role in one’s participation in reducing mosquito numbers by regulating these habitats. According to studies, African populations suffer from a lack of understanding about mosquito biology. In a poll of 1,451 Kenyan families, for example, 65 percent of respondents said they had no idea what mosquito larvae looked like (Opiyo et al., 2007). Through activities such as identifying breeding habitat, watching larval mosquitoes, and teaching tactics for mosquito breeding suppression, educational programs have been used to promote community understanding and participation in malaria management (Mukabana et al., 2006; van den Berg, 2006).

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The population of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has nearly tripled in the previous 40 years, increasing by more than 15 million people per year to a current population of over 600 million (www.fao.org).

People are moving out from the countryside to the metropolis as the population grows, enticed by the prospect of a better living. Currently, one-third of Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa live in cities, and this number is expected to rise in the future. In fact, by 2022, more than half of all Africans are expected to reside in cities. As a result, the urban environment will become a more prominent component of African life.

Malaria is largely a rural illness, but it may be a severe drain on communities living on the outskirts of cities, causing significant morbidity and mortality while also lowering productivity (Trape 1987, Bouganalih et al. 1993, Baujat et al. 1997, Beier et al. 2003).

Malaria was clearly a serious public health problem in the cities, based on observations from the research region.

As a result of the rise of parasite strains resistant to chloroquine, this situation is likely to worsen (Babirye et al. 2000).

Case management of clinical episodes of malaria, promotion of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), targeted indoor residual insecticide spraying (IRS), presumptive treatment of malaria in pregnant women are currently the key foci of malaria control. The Ministry of Health is encouraging EM, which includes filling small water collections, clearing bushes around homes, and closing windows early in the evening, through a process of social mobilization and community participation. With a growing emphasis on community-level environmental management as a component of malaria control, determining existing beliefs about the link between malaria and the environment, as well as how these beliefs relate to environmental management practices, has never been more important.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The study’s major goal is to look into community knowledge and behaviors about environmental management for malaria control. Our specific objective is to:

Examine community members’ environmental management activities.

Examine the connections between environmental management methods, knowledge, and beliefs.

Identify important problems and opportunities for increasing environmental management effectiveness in this region and in the larger context.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study will answer the following questions in accordance with the study’s goal.

What are the community members’ environmental management practices?

What are the connections between environmental management methods, knowledge, and beliefs?

What are the most pressing problems and opportunities for enhancing environmental management effectiveness in this region and beyond?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is now largely accepted that suitable and efficient malaria therapy should be available within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. Poor rural populations in malaria-endemic nations, who are severely underserved by the health system, should be considered in any attempt to give such access.

According to evidence from Nigeria, the majority of fever bouts are self-treated at first, with over 70% of cases relying only on it. However, only 15% of the activities conducted were deemed appropriate in this proportion. This tendency has been documented in several other papers all around the country. 8 The most common method of first-line therapy for childhood ailments in three rural Nigerian villages, according to a research, was medications from the United States. Only 3.6 percent of those polled did nothing. Brieger et al reported that 74 percent of parents initiated remedial action within 8 hours of the beginning of illness, and nearly 96 percent acted within 24 hours, in a study of 105 preschool children done at Igbo Etiti and Ibarapa North in Nigeria. Regrettably, only 14.3 percent of these acts were deemed to be suitable. Home management has been found to be feasible in rural regions and to have a favorable impact on the malaria load. In Nigeria, there is also a scarcity of data on environmental management.

SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The goal of this project is to raise awareness about the use of environmental management in malaria control and prevention. It will look into the role of the environment in malaria transmission, prevention, and control. It will be carried out in the local government of Ifako-Ijaiye. A local government in Nigeria’s Lagos state.

Given the recent and limited studies in this field, the researcher’s limitations include how to obtain the data needed for the study and the availability of literature.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The study developed and tested the following hypothesis.

Ho: Some demographic/socioeconomic parameters have no bearing on environmental management approaches.

 

H1: Some demographic/socioeconomic parameters and environmental management approaches have a link.

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