|Agricultural Development and Vector-Borne Diseases (FAO - HABITAT - UNEP - WHO, 1996, 91 p.)|
|Topic C: Vector habitats|
Slide C.18 Malaria vector habitats: Anopheles arabiensis breeding sites in desert areas
Malaria vectors in Africa belonging to the Anopheles gambiae complex are among the most versatile in terms of breeding habitats. In slide C.15 the role of irrigated rice fields is already highlighted, where, as a rule, species succession takes place as the crop develops. But A. gambiae breeds in other, sunlit water collections as well. The crucial issue is the lifespan of pools after rainfall: do they last long enough for the almost two weeks needed for an Anopheles larva to complete its development? Water collections can be of many types: they can be pools near villages, but they can be as small as animal hoofprints. Collections for drinking water or for irrigation purposes can also contribute significantly to the mosquito population. Water collections in human settlements (for instance, roof tank) ensure that transmission takes place in villages, peri-urban areas and in urban areas. The importance of urban agriculture in this connection has not been the subject of detailed studies, but where this leads to clean, fresh water collections within the city boundaries, it will certainly play a significant role in urban malaria.
Perhaps for more than any of the other malaria vectors, the proper identification of A. gambiae and the design of control measures requires the involvement of a medical entomologist. Most ministries of health have a vector control department with the appropriate expertise.
The WHO Offset publication 66, Environmental Management for Mosquito Control (see bibliography) contains, in annex 1, a complete overview of malaria vector species and their ecological requirements is given. This overview is also presented in the VBC slide set Environmental Management for Vector Control.