Anti-mosquito plants as an alternative or incremental method for malaria vector control among rural communities of Bagamoyo District, Tanzania
Kisinza, W. N. W.
Mutalemwa, P. P. P.
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Background Plants represent one of the most accessible resources available for mosquito control by communities in Tanzania. However, no documented statistics exist for their contribution in the management of mosquitoes and other insects except through verbal and some publications. This study aimed at assessing communities' knowledge, attitudes and practices of using plants as an alternative method for mosquito control among selected communities in a malaria-prone area in Tanzania. Methods Questionnaires were administered to 202 respondents from four villages of Bagamoyo District, Pwani Region, in Tanzania followed by participatory rural appraisal with village health workers. Secondary data collection for plants mentioned by the communities was undertaken using different search engines such as googlescholar, PubMED and NAPRALERT. Results Results showed about 40.3% of respondents used plants to manage insects, including mosquitoes. A broad profile of plants are used, including "mwarobaini" (Azadirachta indica) (22.5%), "mtopetope" (Annona spp) (20.8%), "mchungwa/mlimau" (Citrus spp) (8.3%), "mvumbashi/uvumbati" (Ocimum spp) (7.4%), "mkorosho" (Anacadium occidentale) (7.1%), "mwembe" (5.4%) (Mangifera indica), "mpera" (4.1%) (Psidium spp) and "maganda ya nazi" (4.1%) (Cocos nucifera). Majority of respondents collected these plants from the wild (54.2%), farms (28.9%) and/or home gardens (6%). The roles played by these plants in fighting mosquitoes is reflected by the majority that deploy them with or without bed-nets (p > 0.55) or insecticidal sprays (p >0.22). Most respondents were aware that mosquitoes transmit malaria (90.6%) while few respondents associated elephantiasis/hydrocele (46.5%) and yellow fever (24.3%) with mosquitoes. Most of the ethnobotanical uses mentioned by the communities were consistent with scientific information gathered from the literature, except for Psidium guajava, which is reported for the first time in insect control. Conclusion This survey has indicated some knowledge gap among community members in managing mosquito vectors using plant. The communities need a basic health education and sensitization for effective exploitation of this valuable tool for reducing mosquitoes and associated disease burdens. On the other hand, the government of Tanzania should strengthen advocacy of botanical pesticides development, registration and regulation for public health benefits because they are source of pest control tools people rely on them.