Skip to main content

Free Content Can source reduction of mosquito larval habitat reduce malaria transmission in Tigray, Ethiopia?

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library



The development of irrigation schemes by dam construction has led to an increased risk of malaria in Tigray, Ethiopia. We carried out a pilot study near a microdam to assess whether environmental management could reduce malaria transmission by Anopheles arabiensis, the main vector in Ethiopia. The study took place in Deba village, close to a dam; Maisheru village, situated 3–4 km away from the dam, acted as a control. Baseline entomological and clinical data were collected in both villages during the first 12 months. Source reduction, involving filling, draining and shading of potential mosquito-breeding habitats was carried out by the community of Deba in the second year and routine surveillance continued in both villages during the second year. Anopheles arabiensis was highly anthropophilic (Human Blood Index = 0.73), biting early in the night before people went to bed. The major breeding habitats associated with the dam were areas of seepage at the dam base (28%), leaking irrigation canals (16%), pools that formed along the bed of streams from the dam (13%), and man-made pools (12%). In the pre-intervention year, 5.9–7.2 times more adult vectors were found in the dam village compared with the control village. There was a 3.1% higher prevalence of an enlarged spleen in children under 10 years in the dam village than in the control village during the pre-intervention period, but no statistically significant difference was found in the incidence of falciparum malaria between the two villages during the same period. Source reduction was associated with a 49% (95% CI = 46.6–50.0) relative reduction in An. arabiensis adults in the dam village compared with the pre-intervention period. There were very few cases of malaria during the intervention period in both villages making it impossible to judge whether malaria incidence had been reduced. These preliminary findings suggest that in areas of low intensity transmission community-led larval control may be a cheap and effective method of controlling malaria. Further, large-scale studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Anopheles arabiensis; Ethiopia; community participation; dams; environmental management; irrigation; larval control; malaria; source reduction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia 2: Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Mekelle, Ethiopia 3: School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK

Publication date: 2005-12-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more