Malaria vector abundance is associated with house structures in Baringo County, Kenya

Ondiba IM, Oyieke FA, Ong’amo GO, Olumula MM, Nyamongo IK, Estambale BB


Malaria, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, is the most prevalent vector borne disease in Baringo County; a region which has varied house designs in arid and semi-arid areas. This study investigated the association between house structures and indoor-malaria vector abundance in Baringo County. The density of malaria vectors in houses with open eaves was higher than that for houses with closed eaves. Grass thatched roof houses had higher density of malaria vectors than corrugated iron sheet roofs. Similarly, mud walled houses had higher vector density than other wall types. Houses in the riverine zone were significantly associated with malaria vector abundance (p<0.000) possibly due to more varied house structures. In Kamnarok village within riverine zone, a house made of grass thatched roof and mud wall but raised on stilts with domestic animals (sheep/goats) kept at the lower level had lower mosquito density (5.8 per collection) than ordinary houses made of same materials but at ground level (30.5 mosquitoes per collection), suggestive of a change in behavior of mosquito feeding and resting. House modifications such as screening of eaves, improvement of construction material and building stilted houses can be incorporated in the integrated vector management (IVM) strategy to complement insecticide treated bed nets and indoor residual spray to reduce indoor malaria vector density.