GPS and malaria

Malaria control has long depended on incomplete infection mapping or “spatial medical intelligence”. But in recent years the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) has used GPS (Global Positioning System) to plot malaria infections based on community surveys in 84 endemic countries. 



Almost three million test slides from 2007 were compiled into 14,724 health surveys, which were plotted into MAP’s first global malaria infection risk map. MAP scientists said results showed how malaria control is feasible; more than 70 percent of the 2.4 billion people at risk lived in low-risk areas.



But funding disparities affected malaria prevention; 90 million African children did not have insecticide treated bed nets. Death and disability from malaria was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, based on 2007 data. 



For anti-malaria efforts donors gave less than US$1 per person at risk worldwide, a shortfall of up to 450 percent in some countries. 



pt/np