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Crowdsourcing Vector Surveillance: Using Community Knowledge and Experiences to Predict Densities and Distribution of Outdoor-Biting Mosquitoes in Rural Tanzania.

Mwangungulu, S. P., Sumaye, R. D., Limwagu, A. J., Siria, D. J., Kaindoa, E. W. and Okumu, F. O. (2016) Crowdsourcing Vector Surveillance: Using Community Knowledge and Experiences to Predict Densities and Distribution of Outdoor-Biting Mosquitoes in Rural Tanzania. PloS one, 11 (6). e0156388. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Lack of reliable techniques for large-scale monitoring of disease-transmitting mosquitoes is a major public health challenge, especially where advanced geo-information systems are not regularly applicable. We tested an innovative crowd-sourcing approach, which relies simply on knowledge and experiences of residents to rapidly predict areas where disease-transmitting mosquitoes are most abundant. Guided by community-based resource persons, we mapped boundaries and major physical features in three rural Tanzanian villages. We then selected 60 community members, taught them basic map-reading skills, and offered them gridded maps of their own villages (grid size: 200m×200m) so they could identify locations where they believed mosquitoes were most abundant, by ranking the grids from one (highest density) to five (lowest density). The ranks were interpolated in ArcGIS-10 (ESRI-USA) using inverse distance weighting (IDW) method, and re-classified to depict areas people believed had high, medium and low mosquito densities. Finally, we used odor-baited mosquito traps to compare and verify actual outdoor mosquito densities in the same areas. We repeated this process for 12 months, each time with a different group of 60 residents. All entomological surveys depicted similar geographical stratification of mosquito densities in areas classified by community members as having high, medium and low vector abundance. These similarities were observed when all mosquito species were combined, and also when only malaria vectors were considered. Of the 12,412 mosquitoes caught, 60.9% (7,555) were from areas considered by community members as having high mosquito densities, 28% (3,470) from medium density areas, and 11.2% (1,387) from low density areas. This study provides evidence that we can rely on community knowledge and experiences to identify areas where mosquitoes are most abundant or least abundant, even without entomological surveys. This crowd-sourcing method could be further refined and validated to improve community-based planning of mosquito control operations at low-cost.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Crowdsourcing Vector Surveillance, Outdoor-Biting Mosquitoes, Malaria, Rural Tanzania
Subjects: Malaria > Vector control
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Environmental
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 05:35
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 05:35
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/3797

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