IPS Examines Global Malaria Map

Inter Press Service examines the Malaria Atlas Project, which tracks the presence of malaria parasites to generate a geostatistical map from a “constantly increasing number of surveys that meet required standards – 14,000 at last count.”

The map, which is the “first global map of malaria endemicity since 1968,” helps to provide a detailed understanding of who is at risk of contracting malaria and can assist with effectively using the approximately $1 billion per year that is spent to combat malaria, IPS writes. Its objective is to guide the “intensity” of disease control interventions in high risk areas, “monitor progress and steer the adoption of locally-appropriate interventions everywhere by 2010” in line with the WHO’s strategy, according to the news service.

One of the creators of the map, Bob Snow, said, “What we do know is that the proper use of funds to protect people from mosquito bites and prompt use of effective drugs when someone is sick can massively reduce the burden of malaria.” He points to evidence from Kilifi, Kenya, where the prevalence of malaria cases dropped significantly after the government started distributing insecticide-treated nets for no cost (Mulama, 8/6).