Friday, April 23, 2010

Predicting and mapping malaria under climate change scenarios: the potential redistribution of malaria vectors in Africa

“Henri TonnangRichard KangalawePius Yanda” in 7th Space Interactive: Malaria is rampant in Africa and causes untold mortality and morbidity. Vector-borne diseases are climate sensitive and this has raised considerable concern over the implications of climate change on future disease risk. The problem of malaria vectors (Anopheles mosquitoes) shifting from their traditional locations to invade new zones is an important concern.

The vision of this study was to exploit the sets of information previously generated by entomologists, e.g. on geographical range of vectors and malaria distribution, to build models that will enable prediction and mapping the potential redistribution of Anopheles mosquitoes in Africa.

...Results: These results have shown that shifts in these species boundaries southward and eastward of Africa may occur rather than jumps into quite different climatic environments. In the absence of adequate control, these predictions are crucial in understanding the possible future geographical range of the vectors and the disease, which could facilitate planning for various adaptation options.

Conclusion: Thus, the outputs from this study will be helpful at various levels of decision making, for example, in setting up of an early warning and sustainable strategies for climate change and climate change adaptation for malaria vectors control programmes in Africa….

Malaria plasmodium, image by mage Ute Frevert; false color by Margaret Shear, Wikimedia Commons via PLOS, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license

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