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Knowledge, perception and practices about malaria, climate change, livelihoods and food security among rural communities of central Tanzania

Overview of attention for article published in Infectious Diseases of Poverty, April 2015
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Title
Knowledge, perception and practices about malaria, climate change, livelihoods and food security among rural communities of central Tanzania
Published in
Infectious Diseases of Poverty, April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s40249-015-0052-2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Benjamin K Mayala, Carolyn A Fahey, Dorothy Wei, Maria M Zinga, Veneranda M Bwana, Tabitha Mlacha, Susan F Rumisha, Grades Stanley, Elizabeth H Shayo, Leonard EG Mboera

Abstract

Understanding the interactions between malaria and agriculture in Tanzania is of particular significance when considering that they are the major sources of illness and livelihoods. The objective of this study was to determine knowledge, perceptions and practices as regards to malaria, climate change, livelihoods and food insecurity in a rural farming community in central Tanzania. Using a cross-sectional design, heads of households were interviewed on their knowledge and perceptions on malaria transmission, symptoms and prevention and knowledge and practices as regards to climate change and food security. A total of 399 individuals (mean age = 39.8 ± 15.5 years) were interviewed. Most (62.41%) of them had attained primary school education and majority (91.23%) were involved in crop farming activities. Nearly all (94.7%) knew that malaria is acquired through a mosquito bite. Three quarters (73%) reported that most people get sick from malaria during the rainy season. About 50% of the respondents felt that malaria had decreased during the last 10 years. The household coverage of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITN) was high (95.5%). Ninety-six percent reported to have slept under a mosquito net the previous night. Only one in four understood the official Kiswahili term (Mabadiliko ya Tabia Nchi) for climate change. However, there was a general understanding that the rain patterns have changed in the past 10 years. Sixty-two percent believed that the temperature has increased during the same period. Three quarters of the respondents reported that they had no sufficient production from their own farms to guarantee food security in their household for the year. Three quarters (73.0%) reported to having food shortages in the past five years. About half said they most often experienced severe food shortage during the rainy season. Farming communities in Kilosa District have little knowledge on climate change and its impact on malaria burden. Food insecurity is common and community-based strategies to mitigate this need to be established. The findings call for an integrated control of malaria and food insecurity interventions.

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Ethiopia 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 163 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 33 20%
Researcher 22 13%
Student > Bachelor 19 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 6 4%
Other 23 14%
Unknown 48 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 31 18%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 14%
Social Sciences 21 12%
Environmental Science 15 9%
Nursing and Health Professions 8 5%
Other 21 12%
Unknown 49 29%