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Rwanda: Each Ruhuha Resident Bitten by a Malaria Infested Mosquito Every 3 Days.

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Each of the 20,000 residents of Ruhuha Sector of Bugesera District in Eastern Rwanda is at risk of being infected with malaria once every three days, according to findings from a baseline survey of the Malaria Elimination Program for Ruhuha (MEPR).

“Each person receives one infected bite every three days,” said Mr. Emmanuel Hakizimana, a PhD student and leader of the entomology component of MEPR adding that each resident gets an average of 100 infected bites per year.

With a proposition that there are key entomological and environmental determinants which affect malaria transmission in determined foci, the entomology component of MEPR is looking at the use of an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) approach to empower the community towards malaria elimination in Ruhuha.

High risk villages

The findings from a baseline survey which was conducted in late 2013 and disseminated to key stakeholders in Bugesera District over a three day period (May 28-30, 2014), also identified villages in Ruhuha with the highest density of the malaria causing mosquito - Anopheles gambiae s.l.

Masenga II and Masenga I (Gatanga Cell, Rwanzunga (Bihari Cell), Rutare (Kindama Cell) and Gikundamvura, Rusenyi, Kanombe (Gikundamvura Cell) are villages with the highest density of the malaria causing mosquito species.

According to Hakizimana, the results also indicated that in Ruhuha there is an average of 8 malaria vectors per household. He further disclosed that residents in villages situated in low lands were at a higher risk of contracting malaria than those in raised lands.

Breeding sites

Looking at the breeding sites in Ruhuha’s marshlands, all the foot/footprints had anopheles larvae, over two thirds of the rice paddies had larvae in them, three quarters of the water drains were host to larvae, while one third of the rice water channels played host to larvae. Among Peri-domestic water bodies/containers surveyed the popular over one third of the clay pots, a third of plastic containers and under one third of the pits played host to anopheles larvae.

Mr. Hakizimana says work in the entomology component of MEPR continues and more research questions are yet to be answered. Up next this component is studying a 24 hour biting cycle, indoor and outdoor biting behaviour, host preference ; applying and evaluating community based Larvae Source Management  in rice fields and ; conducting a second household survey including entomology.

Co Principal Investigator (PI) Dr Claude Muvunyi says the baseline survey is a precursor to better interventions in Rwanda’s malaria hotspot of Ruhuha. The other study Principal Investigators are Dr Leon Mutesa, Dr Stephen Rulisa (based in Rwanda), Dr Michele Van Vugt and Prof. Sander Koenraadt (both based in Holland).

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Look out in part 2 what results from the social behaviour component of the study show.

 

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