While the use of geospatial data to inform national malaria programs is gaining popularity, this country-level data is not well known in the global malaria community. Country-level and regional maps that focus on progress and prospects towards malaria elimination are now available through two new publications from the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco and the Malaria Atlas Project at the University of Oxford. The Atlas of Malaria-Eliminating Countries and the Atlas of the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network visually display the current state of the disease in 36 countries embarking upon malaria elimination, revealing where the pockets of transmission still exist and where the disease is concentrated. Using state-of-the-art mapping techniques and available data, the Atlases depict several key factors to malaria elimination. These include maps that:
- Link the risk of malaria transmission with climate data showing the reach of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax;
- Estimate the range of the dominant malaria-carrying mosquito species in each country; and
- Display locations of human populations at risk of malaria.
Viewed together, the maps call particular attention to the challenges of preventing malaria along the borders of eliminating countries with lower levels of malaria, and those with higher burdens of the disease by displaying higher rates of tansmission along national borders. They also bring attention to the widespread prevalence of P. vivax in many countries that are working towards elimination.
These Atlases seek to raise global and regional awareness of the malaria situation in malaria-eliminating countries, serve as a resource for national malaria programs in making the case for increased resources from national governments and relevant ministries (eg, Health, Finance), and encourage the production of future, improved maps by bringing national malaria programs and researchers together with specialists in geospatial modeling.
To view or download a copy of the Atlases, visit the Malaria Elimination Group website: www.malariaeliminationgroup.org.