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Lekei E.E.,Tropical Pesticides Research Institute | Ngowi A.V.,Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
BMC Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Pesticides in Tanzania are extensively used for pest control in agriculture. Their usage and unsafe handling practices may potentially result in high farmer exposures and adverse health effects.The aim of this study was to describe farmers' pesticide exposure profile, knowledge about pesticide hazards, experience of previous poisoning, hazardous practices that may lead to Acute Pesticide Poisoning (APP) and the extent to which APP is reported. Methods. The study involved 121 head- of-household respondents from Arumeru district in Arusha region. Data collection involved administration of a standardised questionnaire to farmers and documentation of storage practices. Unsafe pesticide handling practices were assessed through observation of pesticide storage, conditions of personal protective equipment (PPE) and through self-reports of pesticide disposal and equipment calibration. Results: Past lifetime pesticide poisoning was reported by 93% of farmers. The agents reported as responsible for poisoning were Organophosphates (42%) and WHO Class II agents (77.6%).Storage of pesticides in the home was reported by 79% of farmers. Respondents with higher education levels were significantly less likely to store pesticides in their home (PRR High/Low = 0.3; 95% CI = 0.1-0.7) and more likely to practice calibration of spray equipment (PRR High/Low = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.03-1.4). However, knowledge of routes of exposure was not associated with safety practices particularly for disposal, equipment wash area, storage and use of PPE. The majority of farmers experiencing APP in the past (79%) did not attend hospital and of the 23 farmers who did so in the preceding year, records could be traced for only 22% of these cases. Conclusions: The study found a high potential for pesticide exposure in the selected community in rural Tanzania, a high frequency of self-reported APP and poor recording in hospital records. Farmers' knowledge levels appeared to be unrelated to their risk. Rather than simply focusing on knowledge-based strategies, comprehensive interventions are needed to reduce both exposure and health risks, including training, improvements in labeling, measures to reduce cost barriers to the adoption of safe behaviours, promotion of control measures other than PPE and support for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). © 2014 Lekei et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Himeidan Y.E.,Kassala University | Kweka E.J.,Tropical Pesticides Research Institute
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2012

East African highlands are one of the most populated regions in Africa. The population densities in the highlands ranged between 158 persons/km 2 in Ethiopia and 410 persons/km 2 in Rwanda. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the region has the world's highest population growth rate. These factors are likely behind the high rates of poverty among the populations. As there were no employment opportunities other than agricultural, this demographic pressure of poor populations have included in an extensive unprecedented land use and land cover changes such as modification of bushland, woodland, and grassland on hillsides to farmland and transformation of papyrus swamps in valley bottoms to dairy pastures and cropland and changing of fallows on hillsides from short or seasonal to longer or perennial. Areas harvested for food crops were therefore increased by more than 100% in most of the highlands. The lost of forest areas, mainly due to subsistence agriculture, between 1990 and 2010 ranged between 8000 ha in Rwanda and 2,838,000 ha in Ethiopia. These unmitigated environmental changes in the highlands led to rise temperature and optimizing the spread and survival of malaria vectors and development of malaria parasites. Malaria in highlands was initially governed by low ambient temperature, trend of malaria transmission was therefore increased and several epidemics were observed in late 1980s and early 2000s. Although, malaria is decreasing through intensified interventions since mid 2000s onwards, these environmental changes might expose population in the highlands of east Africa to an increase risk of malaria and its epidemic particularly if the current interventions are not sustained. © 2012 Himeidan and Kweka.

Felix M.,Tropical Pesticides Research Institute
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2015

Abstract Tanzania is among the lowest income countries with the majority of the people living below a poverty line of less than US$ 2/day. Its energy sector is dominated by wood fuel, mainly charcoal and firewood with over 75% dependency. Wood resources for charcoal and firewood production are collected from a wide variety of tree species. The country has no formal biofuel policies thus leaving biofuel producers (including charcoal and firewood producers) without a reliable framework. This poses a danger to the forest resources and the environment. Little is known about the empirical findings on future prospect and sustainability of charcoal and firewood resources. This study reviewed over 100 articles on the state of the art of wood fuel resources in Tanzania, and the extent and degree of forest resource utilization and sustainability is assessed. Forest loss is estimated at 0.4 million ha per year. Results suggest that it would take about 85 years for all forest resources to be destroyed completely. Assuming year 2005 as a reference year, generations from year 2090 would be left with no forest resources to meet their needs. The study concludes that future prospect and sustainability of charcoal production and firewood harvesting in the country is at stake. Before any irreversible changes occur, it is therefore necessary to protecting forest resources using proper management strategies such as the use of alternative fuel resources, improved conversion technologies and deployment of participatory forest management. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Kweka E.J.,Tropical Pesticides Research Institute | Kweka E.J.,P.A. College | Nyindo M.,P.A. College | Mosha F.,P.A. College | Silva A.G.,Centro Universitario Vila Velha Uvv Rua Comissario Jose
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: Alternative insecticides for the control of malaria and filarial vectors are of paramount need as resistance is increasing among classes of insecticides currently in use in the public health sector. In this study, mosquitocidal activity of Schinus terebinthifolia essential oil against Anopheles gambiae s.s., An. arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus was assessed in laboratory, semi- field and full- field conditions. Method. Twenty third instar larvae of both Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Cx. quinquefasciatus were exposed to different dosages of plant extract in both laboratory and semi- field environments. Observation of the mortality response was assessed at intervals of 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours. Adult semi- gravid female mosquitoes were exposed to papers treated with S. terebinthifolia and compared with WHO standard paper treated with alphacypermethrin (0.05%). Results: Gas chromatography, coupled to mass spectrometry, identified 15 compounds from S. terebinthifolia extracts, the most abundant identified compound was -3-carene (55.36%) and the least was -elemene (0.41%). The density of the oil was found to be 0.8086 g/ml. The effective dosages in the insectary ranged from 202.15 to 2625.20 ppm and were further evaluated in the semi- field situation. In the laboratory, the mortality of Cx. quinquefasciatus ranged from 0.5 to 96.75% while for An. gambiae s.s it was from 13.75 to 97.91%. In the semi- field experiments, the mortality rates observed varied for both species with time and concentrations. The LC 50and LC95value in the laboratory was similar for both species while in the semi- field they were different for each. In wild, adult mosquitoes, the KT50for S. terebinthifolia was 11.29 minutes while for alphacypermethrin was 19.34 minutes. The 24 hour mortality was found to be 100.0% for S. terebinthifolia and 75.0% for alphacypermethrin which was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The efficacy shown by essential oils of fruits and seeds of S. terebinthifolia has given an opportunity for further investigation of individual components of these plant extracts and to evaluate them in small- scale field trials. © 2011 Kweka et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Lekei E.,Tropical Pesticides Research Institute | Ngowi A.V.,Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
NeuroToxicology | Year: 2014

Background and aim: Acute pesticide poisoning (APP), particularly with neurotoxic agents, is often under-reported in developing countries. This study aimed to estimate the burden of APP in Tanzania due to neurotoxic and other pesticides in order to propose a surveillance system. Methods: The study reviewed hospital admission data for APP retrospectively (2000-2005) in 30 facilities in four regions of Tanzania. A prospective follow-up over 12 months in 2006 focused on 10 facilities with the highest reporting of APP. Results: The majority of known poisoning agents were organophosphates or WHO class I and II pesticides. APP involving suicide was significantly more likely to be fatal in both retrospective (PRR fatal/non-fatal = 3.8; 95% CI = 1.8-8.0) and in prospective (PRR = 8.7; 95% CI = 1.1-65) studies. There was a significant association between suicide and gender (PRR female/male = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.1-2.0) in the prospective study. Occupational circumstances as a cause of APP, which was relatively small in both studies (8.5% in the retrospective and 10.2% in the prospective study) was less common amongst men compared to women (6.1% for males versus 12.0% for females) in the retrospective study but almost equal in prospective study (10.2% for males versus 10.1% for females). Contrasting retrospective to prospective studies, the annual incidence rate almost tripled (from 1.43 to 4.05 per 100,000) and mortality rate doubled (from 0.11 to 0.22 per 100,000). Case fatality declined accordingly from 7.8% to 5.6% in prospective study. The study revealed a substantial improvement in the completeness of data with prospective data collection. Missing data for circumstances and agents declined by 24.1% and 9.9%, respectively. Despite this improvement, routine reporting could only generate 33-50% of the information needed for a notification of banned or severely restricted chemicals under the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) convention. Conclusion: The two to threefold increase in rates with prospective data collection suggests significant under-reporting of APP by neurotoxic and other pesticides. Routine reporting is likely to under-estimate the burden from pesticides, particularly for women in occupational settings. The burden of APP and the specific pesticides causing serious problems in Tanzania would continue to be missed without improved surveillance systems. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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