Studies of Entomological Parameters and Perception of Malaria Transmission on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology campus, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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Malaria is a major public health problem in Ghana. Estimations are that 3.5 million people contract malaria every year. In order to develop effective control interventions targeted at reducing the malaria burden in any setting, it is important to understand the major factors that affect transmission and sustenance of the disease. The study was conducted on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) campus to determine the vector species present and their roles in malaria transmission, map out areas of high malaria risk using GIS, and seek the perception of inhabitants of the KNUST campus on malaria. Monthly mosquito sampling surveys revealed the existence of varied larval habitat types within the area, mostly characterised by clear or turbid shallow and sunlit conditions, with the greatest larval density contributed, mainly by vegetable gardens and irrigated farmlands. A. gambiae Giles complex, A. funestus Giles complex and A. zieamanni Grunberg were the three Anopheles species that were identified from 843 Anopheles spp that were caught from all night human landing collection during the survey. Of the 3 species A. gambiae proved to be the main species, with a sporozoite index of 1.01% and 0.57% for the dry and rainy seasons respectively. An average entomological inoculation rate (EIR) of 0.059 infective b/m/n and an annual EIR of 22 ib/m/yr were estimated. The faculty area was identified as area with the highest malaria risk, with respect to entomological parameters that were measured during the period. A KAP survey revealed that respondents had high malaria knowledge with 97.4% of respondents relating malaria to mosquito bites. Some respondents on the other hand also thought that eating too much oil and long exposure to sunshine caused malaria. However, high knowledge of malaria did not necessarily result in correct attitudes and practices. This study reveals that though malaria transmission appeared low on the KNUST campus, misconceptions of some inhabitants on malaria transmission coupled with the high abundance of Anopheles gambiae Giles complex, on the KNUST campus could result in high levels of transmission if an infectious gametocyte pool comes into play. The study also provides a GIS based malaria information, which needs to be considered and integrated into the design and implementation of future malaria control interventions on the KNUST campus and its immediate surroundings. Educational programs aimed at increasing awareness on the correct attitudes and practices towards malaria transmission could promote community participation for effective malaria control in the study area.
A Thesis submitted for the award of a degree of Master of Science in Clinical Microbiology