Zahana - Rural Participatory Development in Madagascar

Cleaning Fiadanana: Combating Tugiasis in Madagascar with biological means

On of the health problem plaguing Fiadanana and many other rural villages in Madagascar is Tugiasis; a skin disease spread by fleas (Tunga penetrans) For more medical information click here . Complications from Tugiasis, especially in children can be very debilitating, making it hard to walk, use their hands or swallow food and can in severe cases be fatal.

In August 2006 Zahana invited a medical specialist in diseases transmitted by insects to visit Fiadanana. His recommendation were:

  • Sweep the village from all organic debris and burn the resulting piles to eliminate the nesting grounds for the flea.
  • Keep the dust at bay, by spaying the dirt ground in the dry season with water.
  • Put the live stock in pens or fences.
  • Finish the walls of the houses with a smooth layer of white adobe clay inside and out to eliminate nesting nooks and crannies for insects to hide.
  • Spraying insecticides are often recommended to curb the initial population of disease carrying insects.

    In an effort to improve the overall health of the village and address problem of hygiene a major village clean up took place for two days during his visit. The use of insecticides was not necessary, due to the diligent cleaning, saving money and avoiding the exposure to sprayed toxins in the village.

Discussing the task at hand of getting rid of dust, organic matter and garbage in the village. (Foto: Ramihantaniarivo 2006)

Giving and good example, the doctors are hands-on in the cleaning effort                 The Traditional Healer is one of the first ones with the broom

The garbage, mainly organic matter, is piled up and burned.

The pig is enjoying its last minutes of freedom, before it ends up in a fenced in pig pen.