Participatory involvement of farming communities and public sectors in determining malaria control strategies in Mvomero district, Tanzania
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin
Addressing the malaria-agriculture linkages requires a broad inter-disciplinary and integrated approach that involves farming communities and key public sectors. In this paper, we report results of participatory involvement of farming communities in determining malaria control strategies in Mvomero District, Tanzania. A seminar involving local government leaders, health and agricultural officials comprising of a total of 27 participants was held. Public meetings in villages of Komtonga, Mbogo, Mkindo, Dihombo and Luhindo followed this. Findings from a research on the impact of agricultural practices on malaria burden in the district were shared with local communities, public sector officials and other key stakeholders as a basis for a participatory discussion. The community and key stakeholders had an opportunity to critically examine the linkages between agricultural practices and malaria in their villages and to identify problems and propose practical solutions. Several factors were identified as bottlenecks in the implementation of malaria control in the area. Lack of community participation and decision making in malaria interventions was expressed as among the major constraints. This denied the community the opportunities of determining their health priorities and accessing knowledge needed to effectively implement malaria interventions. In conclusion, this paper emphasizes the importance of participatory approach that involves community and other key stakeholders in malaria control using an ecosystem approach. An interdisciplinary and integrated approach is needed to involve farmers and more than one sector in malaria control effort.
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin (2006), Vol. 8, No. 3
Community, Participatory, Agriculture, Malaria, Ecosystem, Tanzania