Community Engagement Prior to a Small-Scale Pilot of the Sterile Insect Technique in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa 2018

P. N. Manana, J. Zikhali, D. Dlamini, S. Gumede, N. Mabaso, T. Mpungose and G. Munhenga,  Journal of Public Health and Disease Prevention,  2. 2019.

Approximately 165 000 listeners were engaged during two 30 minute radio interviews at a local radio station. Two hundred and fifty farm workers, several outpatients from primary health care facilities and 1400 secondary school pupils were given education on malaria transmission and control strategies including SIT. Furthermore, two road shows; one in areas around Mamfene and a second at KwaPhuza market, were done. In total, 447 falciparum-specific rapid diagnostic tests were conducted with 20 people testing positive. These patients were immediately treated for malaria. Conclusions: The campaigns showed that the majority of community members are informed concerning malaria transmission and control. However, there is a lack of understanding regarding the SIT as a vector control option. A more extensive public awareness programme on SIT as a vector control strategy is recommended to prepare the community of Mamfene for future small field pilot sterile male mosquito releases.

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