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Zoom in at African Country level: Potential Climate Induced Changes in Areas of Suitability for Survival of Malaria Vectors

Tonnang, H. E. , Tchouassi, D. P. , Juarez, H. S. , Igweta, L. K. and Djouaka, R. F. (2014) Zoom in at African Country level: Potential Climate Induced Changes in Areas of Suitability for Survival of Malaria Vectors. International Journal of Health Geographics, 13 (12). ISSN 1476-072X

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Predicting anopheles vectors’ population densities and boundary shifts is crucial in preparing for malaria risks and unanticipated outbreaks. Although shifts in the distribution and boundaries of the major malaria vectors (Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis) across Africa have been predicted, quantified areas of absolute change in zone of suitability for their survival have not been defined. In this study, we have quantified areas of absolute change conducive for the establishment and survival of these vectors, per African country, under two climate change scenarios and based on our findings, highlight practical measures for effective malaria control in the face of changing climatic patterns. We develop a model using CLIMEX simulation to estimate the potential geographical distribution and seasonal abundance of these malaria vectors in relation to climatic factors 9temperature, rainfall and relative humidity). The model yielded an eco climatic index (EI) describing the total favorable geographical locations for the species. The EI value were classified and exposed to a GIS package. Using ArcGIS, the EI shape points clipped to the extent of Africa and then converted to a raster layer using inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method. Generated maps wre then transformed into polygon-based geo-referenced data set and areas computed and expressed in square kilometers (km2). Five classes of EI were derived indicating the level of survivorship of these malaria vectors. The proportion of areas increasing or decreasing in level of survival of these malaria vectors will be more pronounced in eastern and southern African countries than those in western Africa. Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia appear most likely to be affected in terms of absolute change of malaria vectors suitability zones under the selected climate change scenarios. The potential shifts of these malaria vectors have implications for human exposure to malaria, as recrudescence of the disease is likely to be recorded in several new areas and regions. Therefore, the need to develop, compile and share malaria preventive measures, which can be adapted to different climatic scenarios, remains crucial.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Climate change, Eco-climatic index, Anopheles gambiae s.s, An. arabiensis
Subjects: Malaria > Vector control
Divisions: Other
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 08:54
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 08:54

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