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 Genetic differences between strains of Epstein-Barr virus can alter its activity
18.07.2019 | University of Sussex

nachricht Machine learning platform guides pancreatic cyst management in patients
18.07.2019 | American Association for the Advancement of Science

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: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>