PRACTICABILITY AND ACCEPTABILITY OF MOSQUITO BED NETS IN HONDE VALLEY, A MALARIA ENDEMIC AREA IN EASTERN ZIMBABWE
E. Chirebvu, S.K. Chandiwana & C. Masedza
A study was conducted to assess the feasibility and acceptability of mosquito bed nets to the local community in Honde Valley, in Eastern Zimbabwe a mesoendemic malaria transmission zone. The study involved analysing retrospective malaria data in the area, determining the biting cycles of the possible vector mosquitoes, assessing mosquito bed net sales and community response on the acceptability and use of bed nets. A simple means of making follow up on individual malaria specific morbidity among those purchasing mosquito nets was devised. The low densities of An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus group caught failed to demonstrate any clear biting pattern. However local persons experienced mosquito bites at night and the use of bed nets might be of value in reducing malaria transmission. The community has accepted the use of bed nets and there is a role for the private sector in net manufacture and distribution. The cost of the bed nets may be an important factor in limiting net sales and health authorities should consider the question of subsidizing the cost of nets to make them affordable to peasant families.
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