The world's scientific and social network for malaria professionals
9240 malaria professionals are enjoying the free benefits of MalariaWorld today

How can engineers help us in the fight against malaria?

December 11, 2012 - 17:12 -- William Jobin

And how can we help engineers fight malaria in new African water projects?.....

As populations grow in arid and semi-arid regions of Africa, engineers are designing new water projects to be financed by loans from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Often the projects cause increased malaria because of poor water management. As the engineers design dams to store water for hydropower, irrigation, or flood control, and as they design canals and drains for agricultural projects, the details in their designs can have direct influences on anopheline mosquito production and malaria transmission......

Fortunately we can broaden the attack on malaria if we enlist the help of these engineers, hydrologists and agricultural planners. But they need accurate information on anopheline mosquitoes and African malaria transmission. They need information that many of us already have, and could supply to them.......

There are at least three ways that hydrologists, engineers and agricultural planners can affect malaria transmission, if they start with adequate design data:.....
1. Clever design and operation of hydropower and irrigation reservoirs can suppress anopheline breeding around the reservoir margins......
2. Housing location and designs for agricultural communities and resettled populations can protect people against anopheline mosquitoes......
3. Loan proposals by engineers for water projects can include anti-malaria components, which will then be funded under the very favorable terms of the loans from the banks. This adds funds to the meager resources currently available for our fight against malaria......

Engineers however are not usually familiar with the characteristics of anopheline mosquito breeding and behavior, nor do they have training in the epidemiology of malaria transmission. But many of us do.

Examples of the type of information they might be able to use, which we might provide:.....

1. How quickly must a drain be emptied of water in order to prevent anopheline breeding during the malaria season?.....
2. What is the required drawdown rate in a hydroelectric reservoir which will strand anopheline larvae on a given slope of shore?.....
3. For populations displaced by a new hydropower or irrigation reservoir, how far away from the high water line should the resettled communities be located?.....
4. What irrigated crops are most likely to trigger malaria transmission in the nearby human communities ?.....

Can you suggest such information that we could supply these planners and engineers, to enlist them in our fight against malaria?