Using a community-driven approach to identify and effectively target aquatic habitats of Anopheles funestus mosquitoes to reduce malaria transmission in rural Tanzania


  • Salum Mapua

    Ifakara Health Institute

Project summary

In south-east Tanzania, where malaria prevalence has reduced by more than 60% since 2000, populations of the formerly notorious malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, have significantly diminished, primarily because of the use of insecticidal bed nets. The species Anopheles arabiensis remains abundant, but the more efficient Anopheles funestus now transmits more than 80% of malaria infections and is resistant to insecticides used on the bed nets.

Malaria prevention in Tanzania still relies primarily on interventions that control indoor vectors, but the government has also been promoting larviciding – where mosquitos are targeted at the larval stage – as a complementary tool. Unfortunately, the approach is often considered logistically intensive and expensive where mosquito habitats are not fixed, few and findable. However, surveys by field staff show that although habitats of An. funestus are difficult to find, they are highly distinctive and fixed.

I propose to work with communities in south-east Tanzania to identify and map An. funestus habitats and preferentially target them with effective larviciding to prevent transmission of malaria. 

This grant was awarded under the scheme’s previous name of Master’s Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.