Malaria, preventive practices and vector infectivity studies in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
A retrospective study was conducted with records from three major hospitals to determine the trend of malaria between 2009 and 2013. Three hundred questionnaires were administered for information on the use of preventive practices. Four hundred and twenty-fourmosquitoes were collected from Kanshio (sub-urban) and Old GRA (urban) using Human Landing Catch, aspirator and hand net. Vectors were identified morphologically, sexed and dissected. There was no statistical significance (x2= 0.00, df= 4, p= 1.00) in the trend of malaria based on records of the three major hospitals, with 35.56% in 2009, 49.51% in 2010, 51.37% in 2011, 30.83% in 2012 and 32.61% in 2013. The number of female Anopheles sp. and infection rate of salivary glands with Plasmodium sporozoites were significantly higher in Kanshio than in old GRA (p ≤ 0.05). There was a significant difference in the use of preventive measures (untreated mosquito nets, insecticides, mosquito coil, window nets and repellants) by participants in the two locations (x2= 1.579, d= 4 p= 0.000). Though Kanshio residents used more of preventive methods including Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) in their homes, their daily activities kept them outside for a longer time thereby exposing them to exophilic mosquitoes. There was no statistical significance between tribes in relation to phobia from using ITNs (x2= 1.921, d= 4, p = 0.750). Since malaria does not appear to be decreasing in spite of preventive measure being used, the disease still remains a serious health challenge in Makurdi. Stakeholders must be persuaded to embrace and sustain more aggressive strategies; such as the use of ITNs to fight malaria.
Keywords: hospital, mosquitoes, malaria, and prevention.