Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U.S.-Ethiopian Effort Will Monitor Malaria Risk

10.11.2010
Controlling malaria in part of Africa may become easier thanks to an international partnership between U.S. researchers and colleagues in Ethiopia that uses new tools to monitor risk.

Associate professor Michael Wimberly of South Dakota State University’s Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence said the work builds on SDSU’s experience using geospatial tools to study a different mosquito-borne illness in the United States. Wimberly and his SDSU colleagues have carried out several studies in recent years studying West Nile virus outbreaks in South Dakota and the surrounding region, where the virus that causes the disease is spread largely by a mosquito called Culex tarsalis.

Malaria is also a mosquito-borne disease. The parasite that causes the disease is spread by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is found in about 109 countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The World Health Organization estimated that as many as 1 million people died of malaria in 2008. Most fatalities are in children younger than 5. The vast majority of cases are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Wimberly said some of the techniques that SDSU geographers use to study West Nile virus can be deployed to also study malaria in Africa.

“Malaria is a major public health problem in Ethiopia, where outbreaks in highland regions can be affected by climatic variability, land use change, and seasonal movements of human populations,” Wimberly said. “We can apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems, or GIS, and satellite remote sensing to forecast the spatial and temporal patterns of malaria risk — where and when outbreaks are likely to occur.”

Wimberly said the plan depends on a multidisciplinary team that links scientists who have knowledge of geospatial data and techniques with public health practitioners who have a detailed understanding of local needs. Wimberly and his colleagues have developed such a partnership involving the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence or GIScCE at South Dakota State University, the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Center in Sioux Falls, and the Anti-Malaria Association or AMA, a non-governmental organization located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“In this partnership, the role of the GIScCE is to develop models for ecological forecasting of malaria risk using satellite remote sensing, and the role of the AMA is to facilitate data collection, model validation, and implementation of the resulting products,” Wimberly said.

The partnership’s preliminary results have documented relationships between satellite-derived environmental metrics and malaria incidence in the Ethiopian highlands, confirming the feasibility of malaria risk mapping and forecasting.

“We have also developed other GIS data products related to land use, health facility accessibility, transportation, and population characteristics that may be useful for enhancing malaria prevention efforts,” Wimberly said. “A key technical challenge in Ethiopia has been implementing Internet-based mapping technologies in an environment of low connectivity and low bandwidth. Therefore, another important aspect of the partnership is developing effective, low-cost, and easy-to-use methods for providing public health practitioners with access to digital map products.”

The SDSU scientists’ latest visit to Ethiopia in summer 2010 has spawned a subproject that will focus on providing baseline geographic data to health centers in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

“We’re going to pick 10 woreda, or districts, in the Amhara region and collaborate with a GIS consulting firm in Ethiopia to generate a number of paper map products for them,” Wimberly said. This low-tech exercise will help researchers learn what types of maps are most useful for malaria prevention and control.

The lessons learned and the tools developed through the ongoing collaboration between GIScCE and AMA can help to inform and enhance other global health partnership efforts, he added.

In addition to Wimberly, others involved in the project include Alemayehu Midekisa, Ting-Wu Chuang, and Geoffrey Henebry, all of the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University; Gabriel Senay of the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, or EROS Center, in Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Abere Mihretie and Paulos Semunigus, both of the Anti-Malaria Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Lance Nixon | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sdstate.edu

Further reports about: AMA EROS Ethiopia GIS GIScCE Malaria Nile Delta SDSU Science TV West Nile virus anti-malaria land use public health remote sensing

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>