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Education and Socio-economic status are key factors influencing use of insecticides and malaria knowledge in rural farmers in Southern Côte d’Ivoire

BMC Public Health. 2022 Dec 28;22(1):2443. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-14446-5.


BACKGROUND: Insecticides play a key role in rural farming; however, their over- or misuse has been linked with a negative impact on malaria vector control policies. This study was conducted amongst agricultural communities in Southern Côte d’Ivoire to identify which insecticides are used by local farmers and how it relates to the perception of farmers on malaria. Understanding the use of insecticides may help in designing awareness programme on mosquito control and pesticides management.

METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to 1399 farming households across ten villages. Farmers were interviewed on their education, farming practices (e.g. crops cultivated, insecticides use), perception of malaria, and the different domestic strategies of mosquito control they use. Based on some pre-defined household assets, the socioeconomic status (SES) of each household was estimated. Statistical associations were calculated between different variables, showing significant risk factors.

RESULTS: The educational level of farmers was significantly associated with their SES (p < 0.0001). Most of the householders (88.82%) identified mosquitoes as the principal cause of malaria, with good knowledge of malaria resulting as positively related to high educational level (OR = 2.04; 95%CI: 1.35, 3.10). The use of indoor chemical compounds was strongly associated to the SES of the households, their education level, their use of ITNs and insecticide in agricultural (p < 0.0001). Indoor application of pyrethroid insecticides was found to be widespread among farmers as well as the use of such insecticide for crops protection.

CONCLUSION: Our study shows that the education level remains the key factor influencing the use of insecticides by farmers and their awareness of malaria control. We suggest that better communication tailored to education level and including SES, controlled availability and access to chemical products, should be considered when designing campaigns on use of pesticides and vector borne disease control for local communities.

PMID:36577975 | DOI:10.1186/s12889-022-14446-5

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