Low awareness and misconceptions of immature mosquito stages hinders community participation in integrated vector management in Malindi, Kenya.
Understanding community perceptions of the significance, feasibility and utility of managing mosquito larvae and preventing breeding sitesis important to developing strategies for improving implementation of larvalcontrol. The objective of this study was to explore community perceptions of mosquitoes and suggest ways of enhancing community based larval control. A cross sectional study was carried out in Malindi and Magarini sub counties in the coastal region of Kenya. Qualitative research methods were employed to collect data in four selected villages using participatory methodologies. Thefactors identified as hindering community participation in integrated vector management were inadequate knowledge about mosquito biology -lack of awareness of the fact that larvae represent the immature stages of adult mosquitoes responsible for transmission of malaria and other infectious diseases and consequently low community motivation to participate in larval control. The presence of mosquitoes in the area was associated with the presence of large natural water bodies such asriver Sabaki and swamps. Participants did not know thatsmall man-madewater bodies were potential mosquito breeding places. Successful and sustainable community based larval source management will require innovative advocacy, communication and social mobilization activities explaining in a simple language understandable by the community, the mosquito biology, ecology and behaviour, taking into consideration community needs, knowledge and practices.