Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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N2Africa Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa, Podcaster no. 53, July and August 2018
Schilt-van Ettekoven, C. ; Giller, K.E. ; Ojo, C.T. ; Gunnabo, A.H. ; Akakpo, Daniel ; Kermah, M. ; Rurangwa, E. ; Vugt, D. van; Thuijsman, E.C. ; Ronner, E. - \ 2018
Wageningen : N2Africa project (N2Africa Podcaster 53) - 18 p.
Participatory approaches to diversification and intensification of crop production on smallholder farms in Malawi
Vugt, Daniel van - \ 2018
University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463433211 - 153
Prevention Efforts for Malaria
Tizifa, Tinashe A. ; Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; McCann, Robert S. ; Berg, Henk van den; Vugt, Michele van; Phiri, Kamija S. - \ 2018
Current Tropical Medicine Reports 5 (2018)1. - p. 41 - 50.
Community mobilization - Malaria - Methods under development - Prevention in high-risk populations - Sub-Saharan Africa - Vector control

Purpose of Review: Malaria remains a global burden contributing to morbidity and mortality especially in children under 5 years of age. Despite the progress achieved towards malaria burden reduction, achieving elimination in more countries remains a challenge. This article aims to review the prevention and control strategies for malaria, to assess their impact towards reducing the disease burden and to highlight the best practices observed. Recent Findings: Use of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying has resulted a decline in the incidence and prevalence of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other strategies such as larval source management have been shown to reduce mosquito density but require further evaluation. New methods under development such as house improvement have demonstrated to minimize disease burden but require further evidence on efficacy. Development of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine that provides protection in under-five children has provided further progress in efforts of malaria control. Summary: There has been a tremendous reduction in malaria burden in the past decade; however, more work is required to fill the necessary gaps to eliminate malaria.

Community-based malaria control in southern Malawi : A description of experimental interventions of community workshops, house improvement and larval source management
Berg, Henk van den; Vugt, Michèle van; Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; Nkalapa, Mackenzie ; Kaotcha, Rowlands ; Truwah, Zinenani ; Malenga, Tumaini ; Kadama, Asante ; Banda, Saidon ; Tizifa, Tinashe ; Gowelo, Steven ; Mburu, Monicah M. ; Phiri, Kamija S. ; Takken, Willem ; McCann, Robert S. - \ 2018
Malaria Journal 17 (2018)1. - ISSN 1475-2875
Community participation - Community workshops - Health education - House improvement - Integrated vector management - Larval source management - Malaria transmission - Vector control

Background: Increased engagement of communities has been emphasized in global plans for malaria control and elimination. Three interventions to reinforce and complement national malaria control recommendations were developed and applied within the context of a broad-based development initiative, targeting a rural population surrounding a wildlife reserve. The interventions, which were part of a 2-year research trial, and assigned to the village level, were implemented through trained local volunteers, or 'health animators', who educated the community and facilitated collective action. Results: Community workshops on malaria were designed to increase uptake of national recommendations; a manual was developed, and training of health animators conducted, with educational content and analytical tools for a series of fortnightly community workshops in annual cycles at village level. The roll-back malaria principle of diagnosis, treatment and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets was a central component of the workshops. Structural house improvement to reduce entry of malaria vectors consisted of targeted activities in selected villages to mobilize the community into voluntarily closing the eaves and screening the windows of their houses; the project provided wire mesh for screening. Corrective measures were introduced to respond to field challenges. Committees were established at village level to coordinate the house improvement activities. Larval source management (LSM) in selected villages consisted of two parts: one on removal of standing water bodies by the community at large; and one on larviciding with bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis by trained village committees. Community workshops on malaria were implemented as 'core intervention' in all villages. House improvement and LSM were implemented in addition to community workshops on malaria in selected villages. Conclusions: Three novel interventions for community mobilization on malaria prevention and control were described. The interventions comprised local organizational structure, education and collective action, and incorporated elements of problem identification, planning and evaluation. These methods could be applicable to other countries and settings.

Access and adequate utilization of malaria control interventions in rural Malawi : A descriptive quantitative study
Kabaghe, Alinune Nathanael ; Chipeta, Michael Give ; McCann, Robert Sean ; Terlouw, Dianne Jean ; Tizifa, Tinashe ; Truwah, Zinenani ; Phiri, Kamija Samuel ; Vugt, Michèle Van - \ 2018
Malaria Journal 17 (2018)1. - ISSN 1475-2875
Intervention - Malaria - Malawi - Rural communities
Background: Despite the availability of cost effective malaria control interventions, such as insecticide-treated bed nets (ITN), diagnosis and effective treatment of malaria, and intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp), the lack of equitable access and coverage affect utilization of these interventions in rural communities. Aggregated rates of access and utilization of malaria interventions in national surveys mask substantial variations in intervention coverage. Utilization of interventions and factors affecting utilization need investigation in rural communities. Methods: One year of quantitative data collected from a rolling Malaria Indicator Survey (April 2015-April 2016) in Chikhwawa District, Malawi, before the ITN distribution campaign, were analysed. Univariate analyses were used to quantify rates of ITN usage, care-seeking for fever in children aged 6-59 months and women aged 15-49 years and IPTp uptake (for women aged 15-49 years with a recent delivery). Results were compared to national survey estimates; factors associated with these outcomes were determined using multivariate regression models. Results: A total of 2046 participants were included from 1328 households; 56.6% were women aged 15-49 years and 43.4% were children aged 6-59 months. Reported ownership of at least one ITN per household and under-five children ITN use the previous night were 35.3 and 33.5% compared to 70.2 and 67.1%, respectively, in the national survey; ITN use was higher in high wealth quintile households than low quintile ones. For participants with recent fever, 37.6 and 19.5% sought care and sought care within 24 h, respectively. Care-seeking was lower for febrile women than febrile children [aOR, 95% CI 0.53 (0.35-0.81)]. Uptake of two and three or more doses of IPTp were 40.6 and 15.0%, respectively, among women with a pregnancy in the last 2 years. Conclusion: To achieve effective malaria control, fine-scale or district-based surveillance should be used to identify and target communities requiring scaling up of interventions. Qualitative research and a participatory community approach should be used to address behavioural factors affecting how people make use of interventions.
Fine-scale spatial and temporal variation of clinical malaria incidence and associated factors in children in rural Malawi : A longitudinal study
Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; Chipeta, Michael G. ; Gowelo, Steve ; Mburu, Monicah ; Truwah, Zinenani ; McCann, Robert S. ; Vugt, Michèle Van; Grobusch, Martin P. ; Phiri, Kamija S. - \ 2018
Parasites & Vectors 11 (2018)1. - ISSN 1756-3305
Entomological surveillance - Incidence rate - Malaria - Spatio-temporal heterogeneity
Background: Spatio-temporal variations in malaria burden are currently complex and costly to measure, but are important for decision-making. We measured the spatio-temporal variation of clinical malaria incidence at a fine scale in a cohort of children under five in an endemic area in rural Chikhwawa, Malawi, determined associated factors, and monitored adult mosquito abundance. Methods: We followed-up 285 children aged 6-48 months with recorded geolocations, who were sampled in a rolling malaria indicator survey, for one year (2015-2016). Guardians were requested to take the children to a nearby health facility whenever ill, where health facility personnel were trained to record malaria test results and temperature on the child's sick-visit card; artemisinin-based combination therapy was provided if indicated. The cards were collected and replaced 2-monthly. Adult mosquitoes were collected from 2-monthly household surveys using a Suna trap. The head/thorax of adult Anopheles females were tested for presence of Plasmodium DNA. Binomial logistic regression and geospatial modelling were performed to determine predictors of and to spatially predict clinical malaria incidence, respectively. Results: Two hundred eighty two children, with complete results, and 267.8 child-years follow-up time were included in the analysis. The incidence rate of clinical malaria was 1.2 cases per child-year at risk; 57.1% of the children had at least one clinical malaria case during follow-up. Geographical groups of households where children experienced repeated malaria infections overlapped with high mosquito densities and high entomological inoculation rate locations. Conclusions: Repeated malaria infections within household groups account for the majority of cases and signify uneven distribution of malaria risk within a small geographical area.
Exploring the yield gap of orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties on smallholder farmers' fields in Malawi
Vugt, D. van; Franke, A.C. - \ 2018
Field Crops Research 221 (2018). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 245 - 256.
Boundary line analysis - Planting material - Production constraints - Sweet potato yield - Weevils
Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) can contribute to combating vitamin A deficiency and establishing more resilient cropping systems in sub-Saharan Africa. There is limited understanding of the factors that affect yield and quality of OFSP on smallholder farmers' fields. This study aimed to assess the performance of six OFSP varieties, identify factors limiting productivity and explore options to close the gap between actual and attainable OFSP yields on fields of smallholder farmers. Data were collected in the 2015/16 growing season from 221 on-farm variety demonstrations in seven districts in Central and Southern Malawi. Dependent variables of interest included crop establishment, vine yields, storage root formation, root yields, percentage of marketable root yield, and weevil infestation. Using linear mixed models, a range of biophysical, climatic, management and socio-economic factors and variables was used to identify associations with these dependent variables. The root yield gap was explored using a multivariate boundary line model to identify the most yield limiting factors. Results show a large variability across farmers' fields and a wide range of interacting factors affecting the variables of interest. Varieties Chipika and Kadyaubwerere attained good yields and were preferred by farmers in terms of taste. Varieties Zondeni and Anaakwanire gave a poor root yield, but a good vine yield. Timely planting is crucial to attain good root yields by making better use of the available rainfall. There was a varietal effect on weevil infestation and Kaphulira was most affected. Weevil control is required for market-oriented producers to enhance the percentage of marketable roots. The average attainable fresh root yield ranged from 18tha-1 for Zondeni to 32tha-1 for Mathuthu, against actual yields of 5-9tha-1. Elevation, planting date, rainfall and crop establishment could explain only 28 percent of the average yield gap, while 49 percent was explained for Mathuthu. Other factors that may explain the yield gap, but were not included in the model are: tillage methods and soil nutrient limitations. Male host farmers received better quality cuttings and planted in better soil moisture conditions, resulting in better establishment and vine yields. OFSP productivity can be enhanced through gender-sensitive extension, by ensuring male and female farmers can plant clean planting material of a suitable variety early in the rainy season. This requires additional efforts in vine multiplication of the required variety prior to the onset of the rains.
Understanding variability in the benefits of N2-fixation in soybean-maize rotations on smallholder farmers' fields in Malawi
Vugt, D. van; Franke, A.C. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2018
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 261 (2018). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 241 - 250.
Crop rotation - Natural abundance method - Nitrogen fixation - Soil fertility - Yield variability
Soybean production can contribute to the nitrogen economy of smallholder farming systems, but our understanding of factors explaining variability in nitrogen fixation and rotational benefits across farms and regions is limited. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) was quantified with the natural abundance method in 150 farmer-managed soybean plots under different varieties and inputs in Dowa, Mchinji and Salima districts of Malawi. Soybean yielded on average 1.2tha-1 grain and the above-ground biomass at mid pod filling (R5.5) was 2.8tha-1 and contained in total 63kgha-1 nitrogen derived from the atmosphere (Ndfa). Locally sourced varieties obtained a larger %Ndfa (65%) than the 'improved' variety Nasoko (53%). The %Ndfa was positively associated with soil sand content, sowing date, plant population and biomass accumulation, but it was not affected by inoculation with rhizobia or the combination of inoculation and NPK fertiliser application. Quantities of N2 fixed differed between regions and years, and was enhanced by applying inoculant and fertiliser together, leading to more biomass accumulation and larger grain yields. Soil available P and exchangeable K contents also increased the total amount of N2 fixed. In a related trial, continuous maize yields were compared with maize following soybean in 53 farmer-managed fields. Average yield in continuous maize was 2.5tha-1, while maize after soybean produced 3.5tha-1 (139% of continuous maize). Farmers with higher maize yields, who applied external nutrient inputs, and with a larger value of household assets achieved greater yield responses to rotation with soybean. A relative yield increase of more than 10% was observed on 59, 90 and 77% of the fields in Dowa, Mchinji and Salima respectively. We conclude that fields of soybean and maize that receive adequate nutrient inputs and good management to ensure good yields benefit most in terms of quantities of N2 fixed by the legume and the yield response of the following maize crop. The results suggest that the promotion of soybean-maize rotations should be done through an integrated approach including the promotion of appropriate soil and crop management techniques. Furthermore, they suggest that wealthier households are more likely to apply adequate nutrient inputs and good crop management practices and are likely to receive larger maize yield responses to the incorporation of soybean.
Short-term changes in anemia and malaria parasite prevalence in children under 5 years during one year of repeated cross-sectional surveys in rural Malawi
Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; Chipeta, Michael G. ; Terlouw, Dianne J. ; McCann, Robert S. ; Vugt, Michèle Van; Grobusch, Martin P. ; Takken, Willem ; Phiri, Kamija S. - \ 2017
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 97 (2017)5. - ISSN 0002-9637 - p. 1568 - 1575.
In stable transmission areas, malaria is the leading cause of anemia in children. Anemia in children is proposed as an added sensitive indicator for community changes in malaria prevalence. We report short-term temporal variations of malaria and anemia prevalence in rural Malawian children. Data from five repeated cross-sectional surveys conducted over 1 year in rural communities in Chikwawa District, Malawi, were analyzed. Different households were sampled per survey; all children, 6–59 months, in sampled household were tested for malaria parasitemia and hemoglobin levels using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT) and Hemocue 301, respectively. Malaria symptoms, recent treatment (2 weeks) for malaria, anthropometric measurements, and sociodemographic details were recorded. In total, 894 children were included from 1,377 households. The prevalences of mRDT positive and anemia (Hb < 11 g/dL) were 33.8% and 58.7%, respectively. Temporal trends in anemia and parasite prevalence varied differently. Overall, unadjusted and adjusted relative risks of anemia in mRDT-positive children were 1.31 (95% CI: 1.09–1.57) and 1.36 (1.13–1.63), respectively. Changes in anemia prevalence differed with short-term changes in malaria prevalence, although malaria is an important factor in anemia.
Malaria control in rural Malawi : Implementing peer health education for behaviour change
Malenga, Tumaini ; Kabaghe, Alinune Nathanael ; Manda-Taylor, Lucinda ; Kadama, Asante ; McCann, Robert S. ; Phiri, Kamija Samuel ; Vugt, Michèle van; Berg, Henk van den - \ 2017
Globalization and Health 13 (2017)1. - ISSN 1744-8603
Behaviour change - Community workshops - Health animator - Health education - Implementation - Malaria
Background: Interventions to reduce malaria burden are effective if communities use them appropriately and consistently. Several tools have been suggested to promote uptake and use of malaria control interventions. Community workshops on malaria, using the 'Health Animator' approach, are a potential behaviour change strategy for malaria control. The strategy aims to influence a change in mind-set of vulnerable populations to encourage self-reliance, using community volunteers known as Health Animators. The aim of the paper is to describe the process of implementing community workshops on malaria by Health Animators to improve uptake and use of malaria control interventions in rural Malawi. Methods: This is a descriptive study reporting feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness and fidelity of using Health Animator-led community workshops for malaria control. Quantitative data were collected from self-reporting and researcher evaluation forms. Qualitative assessments were done with Health Animators, using three focus groups (October-December 2015) and seven in-depth interviews (October 2016-February 2017). Results: Seventy seven health Animators were trained from 62 villages. A total of 2704 workshops were conducted, with consistent attendance from January 2015 to June 2017, representing 10-17% of the population. Attendance was affected by social responsibilities and activities, relationship of the village leaders and their community and involvement of Community Health Workers. Active discussion and participation were reported as main strengths of the workshops. Health Animators personally benefited from the mind-set change and were proactive peer influencers in the community. Although the information was comprehended and accepted, availability of adequate health services was a challenge for maintenance of behaviour change. Conclusion: Community workshops on malaria are a potential tool for influencing a positive change in behaviour towards malaria, and applicable for other health problems in rural African communities. Social structures of influence and power dynamics affect community response. There is need for systematic monitoring of community workshops to ensure implementation fidelity and strengthening health systems to ensure sustainability of health behaviour change.
Le Guide des PMP : Comment concevoir et faciliter des partenariats multipartites
Brouwer, J.H. ; Woodhill, A.J. ; Hemmati, Minu ; Verhoosel, K.S. ; Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2017
Practical Action Publishing - ISBN 9781853399787 - 183 p.
Are you working to connect businesses and NGOs to create better environmental and social standards? Or are you a government policy officer needing to work with the fisheries sector and local communities to create a sustainable management plan? Is your business partnering with farmer organisations, NGOs, and an impact
investor to source responsibly from small-scale farmers? Perhaps your NGO is trying to work with government and businesses to create more opportunities for youth in rural areas?

Multi-stakeholder partnerships offer practical ways forward in these types of situations, and in many others. How to design, facilitate and manage these
partnerships is what this book is all about.

In 2015 the global community agreed to a set of Sustainable Development Goals that address the big issues facing humanity for the coming decades.
They will only be achieved through strengthened multi-stakeholder partnerships, as the UN Secretary General himself recognises. It will be the collective efforts of partnerships everywhere that will make the difference. This guide is a contribution to that effort.

Community-based biological control of malaria mosquitoes using Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) in Rwanda : Community awareness, acceptance and participation
Ingabire, Chantal Marie ; Hakizimana, Emmanuel ; Rulisa, Alexis ; Kateera, Fredrick ; Borne, Bart Van Den; Muvunyi, Claude Mambo ; Mutesa, Leon ; Vugt, Michelle van; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. ; Takken, Willem ; Alaii, Jane - \ 2017
Malaria Journal 16 (2017). - ISSN 1475-2875 - 13 p.
Acceptance - Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis - Community knowledge - Larval source management - Malaria - Participation - Rwanda - 017-4036

Background: Targeting the aquatic stages of malaria vectors via larval source management (LSM) in collaboration with local communities could accelerate progress towards malaria elimination when deployed in addition to existing vector control strategies. However, the precise role that communities can assume in implementing such an intervention has not been fully investigated. This study investigated community awareness, acceptance and participation in a study that incorporated the socio-economic and entomological impact of LSM using Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) in eastern Rwanda, and identified challenges and recommendations for future scale-up. Methods: The implementation of the community-based LSM intervention took place in Ruhuha, Rwanda, from February to July 2015. The intervention included three arms: control, community-based (CB) and project-supervised (PS). Mixed methods were used to collect baseline and endline socio-economic data in January and October 2015. Results: A high perceived safety and effectiveness of Bti was reported at the start of the intervention. Being aware of malaria symptoms and perceiving Bti as safe on other living organisms increased the likelihood of community participation through investment of labour time for Bti application. On the other hand, the likelihood for community participation was lower if respondents: (1) perceived rice farming as very profitable; (2) provided more money to the cooperative as a capital; and, (3) were already involved in rice farming for more than 6 years. After 6 months of implementation, an increase in knowledge and skills regarding Bti application was reported. The community perceived a reduction in mosquito density and nuisance biting on treated arms. Main operational, seasonal and geographical challenges included manual application of Bti, long working hours, and need for transportation for reaching the fields. Recommendations were made for future scale-up, including addressing above-mentioned concerns and government adoption of LSM as part of its vector control strategies. Conclusions: Community awareness and support for LSM increased following Bti application. A high effectiveness of Bti in terms of reduction of mosquito abundance and nuisance biting was perceived. The study confirmed the feasibility of community-based LSM interventions and served as evidence for future scale-up of Bti application and adoption into Rwandan malaria vector control strategies.

Assessment of the effect of larval source management and house improvement on malaria transmission when added to standard malaria control strategies in southern Malawi : Study protocol for a cluster-randomised controlled trial
Mc Cann, Robert ; Berg, Henk van den; Diggle, Peter J. ; Vugt, Michèle van; Terlouw, Dianne J. ; Phiri, Kamija S. ; Pasquale, Aurelio Di; Maire, Nicolas ; Gowelo, Steven ; Mburu, Monicah M. ; Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; Mzilahowa, Themba ; Chipeta, Michael G. ; Takken, Willem - \ 2017
Bmc Infectious Diseases 17 (2017). - ISSN 1471-2334 - 15 p.
Anopheles mosquitoes - Community participation - House improvement - Integrated vector management - Larval source management - Malaria transmission - Vector control - 017-4010

Background: Due to outdoor and residual transmission and insecticide resistance, long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) will be insufficient as stand-alone malaria vector control interventions in many settings as programmes shift toward malaria elimination. Combining additional vector control interventions as part of an integrated strategy would potentially overcome these challenges. Larval source management (LSM) and structural house improvements (HI) are appealing as additional components of an integrated vector management plan because of their long histories of use, evidence on effectiveness in appropriate settings, and unique modes of action compared to LLINs and IRS. Implementation of LSM and HI through a community-based approach could provide a path for rolling-out these interventions sustainably and on a large scale. Methods/design: We will implement community-based LSM and HI, as additional interventions to the current national malaria control strategies, using a randomised block, 2 × 2 factorial, cluster-randomised design in rural, southern Malawi. These interventions will be continued for two years. The trial catchment area covers about 25,000 people living in 65 villages. Community participation is encouraged by training community volunteers as health animators, and supporting the organisation of village-level committees in collaboration with The Hunger Project, a non-governmental organisation. Household-level cross-sectional surveys, including parasitological and entomological sampling, will be conducted on a rolling, 2-monthly schedule to measure outcomes over two years (2016 to 2018). Coverage of LSM and HI will also be assessed throughout the trial area. Discussion: Combining LSM and/or HI together with the interventions currently implemented by the Malawi National Malaria Control Programme is anticipated to reduce malaria transmission below the level reached by current interventions alone. Implementation of LSM and HI through a community-based approach provides an opportunity for optimum adaptation to the local ecological and social setting, and enhances the potential for sustainability. Trial Registration: Registered with The Pan African Clinical Trials Registry on 3 March 2016, trial number PACTR201604001501493.

Kennisoverzicht kleinschalige maatregelen in brabantse beken
Verdonschot, Piet ; Verdonschot, Ralf ; Bauwens, Jolanda ; Brugmans, Bart ; Dees, Albert ; Kits, Mirja ; Moeleker, Mieke ; Hoog, Jacco de; Scheepens, Mark ; Barten, Ineke ; Coenen, Daniel ; Vugt, Angelique van; Roovers, Sandra - \ 2017
Amersfoort : Stowa (Stowa rapport 2017-16) - ISBN 9789057737398 - 136
Waterschappen stellen zich als doel om de komende jaren alle oppervlaktewateren in een goede ecologische toestand te brengen. Herinrichtingsprojecten zijn relatief duur en hebben vooralsnog een tegenvallend ecologisch resultaat. Door het slim toepassen van kleinschalige maatregelen blijkt het mogelijk te zijn om met relatief kleine ingrepen een bijdrage te leveren aan KRW-doelen. Per type kleinschalige maatregel zijn de effecten op de waterkwaliteit en de ecologie van het oppervlaktewater inzichtelijk gemaakt en vertaald naar concrete aanbevelingen, die vervolgens als leidraad bij beheer kunnen dienen. Welke maatregel het beste kan worden ingezet in een beek hangt sterk af van de gestelde doelen en de lokale omstandigheden.
Adaptive geostatistical sampling enables efficient identification of malaria hotspots in repeated cross-sectional surveys in rural Malawi
Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; Chipeta, Michael G. ; McCann, Robert S. ; Phiri, Kamija S. ; Vugt, Michèle Van; Takken, Willem ; Diggle, Peter ; Terlouw, Anja D. - \ 2017
PLoS One 12 (2017)2. - ISSN 1932-6203
Introduction: In the context of malaria elimination, interventions will need to target high burden areas to further reduce transmission. Current tools to monitor and report disease burden lack the capacity to continuously detect fine-scale spatial and temporal variations of disease distribution exhibited by malaria. These tools use random sampling techniques that are inefficient for capturing underlying heterogeneity while health facility data in resource-limited settings are inaccurate. Continuous community surveys of malaria burden provide real-time results of local spatio-temporal variation. Adaptive geostatistical design (AGD) improves prediction of outcome of interest compared to current random sampling techniques. We present findings of continuous malaria prevalence surveys using an adaptive sampling design. Methods: We conducted repeated cross sectional surveys guided by an adaptive sampling design to monitor the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and anaemia in children below five years old in the communities living around Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa district, Southern Malawi. AGD sampling uses previously collected data to sample new locations of high prediction variance or, where prediction exceeds a set threshold. We fitted a geostatistical model to predict malaria prevalence in the area. Findings: We conducted five rounds of sampling, and tested 876 children aged 6-59 months from 1377 households over a 12-month period. Malaria prevalence prediction maps showed spatial heterogeneity and presence of hotspots - where predicted malaria prevalence was above 30%; predictors of malaria included age, socio-economic status and ownership of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Conclusions: Continuous malaria prevalence surveys using adaptive sampling increased malaria prevalence prediction accuracy. Results from the surveys were readily available after data collection. The tool can assist local managers to target malaria control interventions in areas with the greatest health impact and is ready for assessment in other diseases.
Participatory research to close the soybean yield gap on smallholder farms in Malawi
Vugt, D. Van; Franke, A.C. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2017
Experimental Agriculture 53 (2017)3. - ISSN 0014-4797 - p. 396 - 415.
Soybean yields on smallholder farmers’ fields in Malawi are constrained by poor soil fertility, limited application of external inputs and poor crop husbandry. We tested crop management practices through on-farm experimentation and participatory technology evaluation. Two agronomic soybean trials were established in 2009 and 2010 in three contrasting agro-ecologies resulting in 72 replications per trial. Treatments in the first trial included several combinations of inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, inorganic fertiliser application and compost manure. In the second trial, farmers tested an improved variety, optimal weeding regime, increased plant population and chemical pest and disease control. A combination of inoculation, inorganic fertiliser (10 N, 8 P, 20 K in kg ha−1), and 6 t ha−1 compost manure increased yields from 0.86 t ha−1 under farmers’ practice to 1.56 t ha−1 and resulted in average profits of US$222 ha−1. Increased plant populations and biocide spraying also resulted in substantial yield increases. Inoculation and increased plant population resulted in an average value to cost ratio (VCR) > 2. Low investment costs make inoculants, compost manure and increased plant populations interesting options, whereas adoption of inorganic fertiliser application in soybean may be limited due to high costs and low VCR. The farmers ranked eight technologies in descending order of preference as: (i) early planting, (ii) plant population, (iii) variety choice, (iv) compost manure, (v) weeding, (vi) inoculant, (vii) fertiliser and (viii) spraying. Our participatory research approach demonstrated that there is a wide range of technologies with different levels of human and financial investment costs that smallholder farmers can adopt to enhance their soybean yields and profits.
Using an intervention mapping approach for planning, implementing and assessing a community-led project towards malaria elimination in the Eastern Province of Rwanda
Ingabire, Chantal Marie ; Hakizimana, Emmanuel ; Kateera, Fredrick ; Rulisa, Alexis ; Borne, Bart Van Den; Nieuwold, Ingmar ; Muvunyi, Claude ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. ; Vugt, Michele Van; Mutesa, Leon ; Alaii, Jane - \ 2016
Malaria Journal 15 (2016)1. - ISSN 1475-2875
Community - Empowerment - Engagement - Intervention mapping - Involvement - Malaria - Participation - Rwanda
Background: Active community participation in malaria control is key to achieving malaria pre-elimination in Rwanda. This paper describes development, implementation and evaluation of a community-based malaria elimination project in Ruhuha sector, Bugesera district, Eastern province of Rwanda. Methods: Guided by an intervention mapping approach, a needs assessment was conducted using household and entomological surveys and focus group interviews. Data related to behavioural, epidemiological, entomological and economical aspects were collected. Desired behavioural and environmental outcomes were identified concurrently with behavioural and environmental determinants. Theoretical methods and their practical applications were enumerated to guide programme development and implementation. An operational plan including the scope and sequence as well as programme materials was developed. Two project components were subsequently implemented following community trainings: (1) community malaria action teams (CMATs) were initiated in mid-2014 as platforms to deliver malaria preventive messages at village level, and (2) a mosquito larval source control programme using biological substances was deployed for a duration of 6 months, implemented from January to July 2015. Process and outcome evaluation has been conducted for both programme components to inform future scale up. Results: The project highlighted malaria patterns in the area and underpinned behavioural and environmental factors contributing to malaria transmission. Active involvement of the community in collaboration with CMATs contributed to health literacy, particularly increasing ability to make knowledgeable decisions in regards to malaria prevention and control. A follow up survey conducted six months following the establishment of CMATs reported a reduction of presumed malaria cases at the end of 2014. The changes were related to an increase in the acceptance and use of available preventive measures, such as indoor residual spraying and increase in community-based health insurance membership, also considered as a predictor of prompt and adequate care. The innovative larval source control intervention contributed to reduction in mosquito density and nuisance bites, increased knowledge and skills for malaria control as well as programme ownership. Conclusion: This community-based programme demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of active community participation in malaria control activities, which largely contributed to community empowerment and reduction of presumed malaria in the area. Further studies should explore how gains may be sustained to achieve the goal of malaria pre-elimination.
BENEFIT Collaboration Framework : How to create beneficial synergy with and within the Bilateral Ethiopian - Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT) partnership?
Vugt, S.M. van; Alemu, Dawit - \ 2016
Centre for Development Innovation (Report CDI-16-032 )
BENEFIT M&E Framework : Monitoring and Evaluation Framework of the Bilateral Ethiopian Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Partnership 2016 -2019
Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2016
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation (Report CDI 16-031) - 71 p.
BENEFIT Partnership – 2016 Annual work plan : Bilateral Ethiopian Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Partnership
Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2016
Centre for Development Innovation - 102 p.
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