Impact of socio-economic factors and engineered systems on anopheline larval mosquitoes and economic evaluation of larval control interventions in urban Malindi, Kenya

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Epidemiology and Public Health

First Committee Member

John C. Beier - Committee Chair


Objective. To conduct an ento-epidemiological and economic evaluation of mosquito control operations in the urban community of Malindi, Kenya, with special emphasis on controlling malaria vectors, to advise decision makers on appropriate methods of mosquito larval control.Methods. Previously collected spatial, entomological, environmental, municipal-engineering, and household data were used to evaluate the dynamics of malaria vector propagation in urban Malindi.Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were done to determine, (1) the associations between household characteristics and the abundance of mosquito larval-prevalent water bodies; and (2) the associations between environmental features and engineered systems on the one hand, and anopheline larval-prevalent water bodies on the other hand. Statistical interactions were also tested.An economic evaluation was conducted to determine the cost of 3 larval control programs in Malindi: (1) the current Malindi mosquito control program, (2) the creation of a vector control bureau, and (3) the creation of a mosquito abatement district.Results. Socioeconomic variables such as piped water, household size, electricity were significantly associated with mosquito larval-prevalent water bodies. The probability of finding anopheline larvae in water bodies was found to be significantly affected by engineered systems such as distance to water system. Two significant interactions were identified: (1) water body size by culicine larvae presence and (2) water body substrate type by distance to piped water system. Cost-effective analysis comparing the 3 mosquito control programs showed the cost to reduce 1 infectious bite per were U.S. $7.78 using the current mosquito control program, U.S. $4.39 using a vector control bureau, and U.S. $430 using a mosquito abatement program.Conclusion. Mosquito control efforts should not only focus on areas that are classified as lower socio-economic status. Engineered systems, such as water systems, have impacts on the presence of mosquitoes, but further studies are needed to evaluate the mechanisms by which they reduce mosquito burden. Creation of vector control bureaus and mosquito abatement districts were more cost-effective than the current mosquito operations occurring in Malindi. This suggests that alternative mosquito control methods can be more cost-effective than current activities. These results should guide mosquito control efforts in developing countries.


Health Sciences, Epidemiology

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