Inhabitants Knowledge on Mosquito Proliferation and Control in the Wetland Ecosystem of Wadi Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Abdel Fattah N Abd Rabou , Maged M Yassin, Fadel A Sharif, Mohammed R Al-Agha, Kamel S Abu Daher, Abdel Karim S Ali, Dawi M Hamad

Abstract


The wetland ecosystem of Wadi Gaza is a major source of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Gaza Strip due to its water content that comes from different sources including wastewater. Local inhabitants usually complain from mosquito proliferation and ask the responsible parties for urgent solutions. The escalating situation in the study area promoted the conduction of this study, which aims at documenting the inhabitants knowledge on mosquito proliferation and control in the wetland ecosystem of Wadi Gaza, Gaza Strip. One hundred and twenty people (N=120) were selected randomly to fill a questionnaire especially designed to conduct the current study. The findings of the study showed that most participants (85.0%) ranked stagnant wastewater as the main cause of mosquito proliferation and the emission of offensive odors that affect the life of Wadi Gaza residents. Of the study population, 72.5% linked mosquito proliferation to many of the prevailing diseases in the area, of which fever, skin rashes and inflammations and itching were a part. To control mosquitoes and to avoid their biting at the personal level, several means with variable scores were reported to include burning mats, light traps, indoor insecticides, mosquito bed nets (Namosiah), window and/or door wire screens, and self-hygiene. Some people limit their outdoor activities after dark during peak mosquito seasons. At the public level, mosquito control means included the spraying of kerosene and pesticides, burning and clearing of vegetation around the wetland ecosystem, and burial and desiccation of stagnant water pools in the area. As far as the use of the biological control agent "Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis" (Bti) is concerned, 57.5% of the participants demonstrated their knowledge on its use and sometimes on its efficacy. Only 20.0% of participants ensured their attendance to different health and environmental awareness campaigns concerning mosquitoes and their associated health problems. Finally, the authors recommend the different parties to coordinate their efforts to further alleviate the problem of mosquito proliferation and to find suitable control methods. The conduction of educational and awareness health programs to all levels of the Palestinian society is highly recommended. Key words: Mosquito proliferation, mosquito control, wetlands, Wadi Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine

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