Hesperian Health Guides
Communities Prevent Mosquito Illnesses
Community health workers or any community group can help neighbors keep their yards and homes free of standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and infecting everyone in the community. Are there elderly people, people with disabilities, or families without enough money that need your help? Youth-led or adult teams can help inspect houses, make or repair screens, and tightly cover water storage containers. Involve school children as part of their learning of nature and science. Community clean-up efforts target vacant lots to keep them free of trash and containers that collect water. Containers can be turned over, tightly covered, or removed.
Other ways community leaders can help:
- Improve living conditions: build piped water systems, manage trash and waste water, design community building roofs to prevent pooling of water, and see if latrines or sanitation systems can be improved.
- Make malaria treatment more easily available.
- Distribute bednets and organize events to repair holes and renew treatment of bednets.
- Work together with health authorities for safe community management of any program using insecticides.
Involve everyone in understanding how mosquitoes spread illness, how to avoid bites, and how to stop mosquitoes from breeding. Where are old tires piled up? Discuss who is most affected by mosquitoes in your community and how to prevent bites and mosquito breeding. Are women, men, children, and small babies affected differently? Think about who works or spends time where there are many mosquitoes, for example:
- Places where people fetch water or wash clothes, especially if the water source is still, or spilled water forms puddles or pools
- Farmland or mining sites where holes, pits, or trenches fill with rain
- Inside and around the house, where women and small children spend much of the day, and mosquitoes hide on walls and in the shadows
- Schoolrooms with no screens where children sit still for classes