Attractive toxic sugar baits for controlling mosquitoes: a qualitative study in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Maia MF, Tenywa FC, Nelson H, Kambagha A, Ashura A, Bakari I, Mruah D, Simba A, Bedford A
Malar J. 2018;17

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BACKGROUND: Malaria elimination is unlikely to be achieved without the implementation of new vector control interventions capable of complementing insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying. Attractive-toxic sugar baits (ATSBs) are considered a new vector control paradigm. They are technologically appropriate as they are simple and affordable to produce. ATSBs kill both female and male mosquitoes attracted to sugar feed on a sugary solution containing a mosquitocidal agent and may be used indoors or outdoors. This study explored the views and perceptions on ATSBs of community members from three Coastal Tanzanian communities. METHODS: Three communities were chosen to represent coastal urban, peri-urban and rural areas. Sensitization meetings were held with a total of sixty community members where ATSBs were presented and explained their mode of action. At the end of the meeting, one ATSB was given to each participant for a period of 2 weeks, after which they were invited to participate in focus group discussions (FGDs) to provide feedback on their experience. RESULTS: Over 50% of the participants preferred to use the bait indoors although they had been instructed to place it outdoors. Participants who used the ATSBs indoors reported fewer mosquitoes inside their homes, but were disappointed not to find the dead mosquitoes in the baits, although they had been informed that this was unlikely to happen. Most participants disliked the appearance of the bait and some thought it to be reminiscent of witchcraft. Neighbours that did not participate in the FGDs or sensitizations were sceptical of the baits. CONCLUSIONS: This study delivers insight on how communities in Coastal Tanzania are likely to perceive ATSBs and provides important information for future trials investigating the efficacy of ATSBs against malaria. This new vector control tool will require sensitization at community level regarding its mode of action in order to increase the acceptance and confidence in ATSBs for mosquito control given that most people are not familiar with the new paradigm. A few recommendations for product development and delivery are discussed.