Volume 85, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria-endemic agricultural communities are at risk for this disease because of crop and agricultural activities. A cross-sectional survey among women in small-scale agriculture on irrigated and dryland areas in Makhatini Flats, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa explored associations with self-reported history of malaria, including demographics, crop production, and specific agricultural activities. Ninety-eight (15.2%) of 644 women reported malaria while working in agriculture. More women working in drylands than women working in irrigation scheme reported disease (18.4% versus 10.9%; < 0.05). Working self or family-owned farms (prevalence ratio [PR] = 2.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3–5.2), spraying pesticides (PR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.4–3.8), cultivating sugar cane (PR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.3), and cultivating cotton and mangoes (PR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1–2.6) were positively associated with a history of malaria while working in agriculture. This study suggests that certain agricultural activities and types of crop production may increase the risk for malaria among women working in small-scale agriculture.


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  • Received : 11 Feb 2011
  • Accepted : 25 Jun 2011

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