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'Where are the dead flies!': perceptions of local communities towards the deployment of Tiny Targets to control tsetse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The National Programme for the control of human African trypanosomiasis in Democratic Republic of Congo includes a large-scale vector control operation using Tiny Targets. These are small panels of insecticide-impregnated cloth that are deployed in riverine habitat where tsetse flies concentrate. The effectiveness of Tiny Targets depends partly on acceptance by local communities. In 2018, we conducted research to explore the perception and acceptability of Tiny Targets in two different village clusters where Tiny Targets had been deployed by the local community or external teams. We conducted fourteen focus group discussions and seven semistructured interviews in three villages from each cluster in the Yasa Bonga health zone. Our findings showed that acceptability was better in the cluster where communities were involved in the deployment of Tiny Targets. Also in this cluster, awareness about Tiny Targets was satisfactory and the project was implemented within local customs, which promoted a positive perception of Tiny Targets and their benefits. In the cluster where external teams deployed Tiny Targets, a lack of information and communication, stereotypes applied by communities towards the deployment teams and the impression of inadequate respect for local customs led to anxiety and a misleading interpretation of the purpose of Tiny Targets and negatively influenced acceptability. This study highlights the importance of involving communities for programme acceptance. Our research underlined how awareness campaigns and communication are essential, but also how working within the scope of community social norms and customs are equally important. Prospects for the successful use of Tiny Targets are greater when communities are involved because the use can be adapted to social norms.
Tijdschrift: BMJ Global Health
ISSN: 2059-7908
Issue: 1
Volume: 7
Jaar van publicatie:2022
Trefwoorden:Human african trypanosomiasis, Qualitative study