Gender, mosquitos and malaria: implications for community development programs in Laputta, Myanmar

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2001 Sep;32(3):588-94.


This paper examines the gender roles linked to division of labor and potential exposure to mosquitos and malaria prevention activities. A "Human Development Initiative" (HDI) Project has been launched in Laputta, a mangrove delta region of Myanmar assisted by United Nations Development Program since 1994. The project aims to improve rural community access to primary health care and provide micro-credit programs, income generation schemes, and educational opportunities as a basis for community empowerment. Women and children of low-income households are the target beneficiaries. Prior to self-care training program and distribution of self-care manuals, altogether 20 focus group discussions (separately assigned to men and women) were conducted in eight study villages between January to February 2000. The primary vector for malaria in study area is Anopheles sundaicus. Rural women were prone to malaria due to exposure to mosquitos within the peak biting period at night because of their gender assigned roles. Both men and women perceived that mosquitos commonly bite before midnight, more at dusk. Lack of awareness of correlation between mosquitos and malaria together with lack of affordability enhance either non-use or shared use of bed-nets at home. Rural women did not consider destruction of breeding places of mosquitos as their major concern. Thus, it is essential for program planners to motivate local women for more active participation in vector control measures within and beyond their households in the context of community development programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / parasitology
  • Awareness
  • Child
  • Community Health Planning / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Insect Control
  • Insect Vectors
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Myanmar / epidemiology
  • Power, Psychological
  • Primary Prevention
  • Self Care