Malaria in Rural Tanzania
August 29, 2012
Dr. Mark Perry
Approximately half of the world's population is at risk for contracting malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries” (WHO, 2013). It is a major public health issue that plagues developing countries around the world; however, “more than seventy percent of the total morbidity is in Africa” (Snow et al., 2005). Although both preventive measures and treatments exist, malaria prevails as one of the biggest killers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Children, pregnant women and HIV-infected individuals are most susceptible to contracting the illness. Tanzania, located in east …show more content…
Malaria is endemic to Tanzania due to its geographical characteristics. In many areas of Tanzania, the warm climate and excessive rainy seasons contribute to the spread of malaria. The Anopheles mosquito, the agent for malaria thrives in locations of warm weather and stagnant bodies of water. These particular environments are commonly found in Tanzania and serve as breeding grounds for the Anopheles mosquitoes. “Malaria transmission is strongly associated with location” (Carter et al., 2000). The identification of mosquito breeding grounds is essential to developing eradication programs. Correct data on how malaria is distributed on the ground enables interventions to be targeted at specific locations and households. If areas that have high density of malaria are unknowingly excluded from control measures, they are of no benefit.
If the spatial aspects of malaria control are taken into consideration, interventions can be focused to specific types of environment. With the assistance of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), attaining spatial data can be practical and cost effective. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can be used for the location of vector and breeding sites, mosquito density sites, incidence rates of human malaria, and location and characterization of household environments. Remote Sensing (RS) provides images of vegetation patterns and