Nearing Malaria Elimination: How Fine-Scale GIS Mapping is Enabling South Africa to Better Understand Malaria Transmission and Optimize Interventions

Authors: Laura Brianna Gast*, Clinton Health Access Initiative, South Africa, Mbavhalelo Bridget Shandukani, National Department of Health, South Africa (NDOH), Craig Davies, Clinton Health Access Initiative, South Africa, Ryleen Balawanth, Clinton Health Access Initiative, South Africa, Tshililo Eric Raswiswi, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Malaria Control Programme, Gillian Malatje, Mpumalanga Department of Health, Malaria Control Programme, Qavanisi Eric Mabunda, Limpopo Department of Health, Malaria Control Programme, Devanand Patrick Moonasar, National Department of Health, South Africa (NDOH)
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: South Africa, Infectious Disease, Malaria, emergency preparedness, system development, participatory mapping, creating the map
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since 2000, South Africa has made significant progress towards controlling malaria, reducing incidence of the disease from 11.1 to 2.1 total cases per 1,000 population at risk, and shrinking the at-risk area down to portions of just three Provinces. However, despite sustained efforts, transmission has plateaued, requiring innovative methods for getting to zero.
Historically, reported cases were mapped to the health facility or the Sub-District level to understand burden of disease. While important for many operational reasons, mapping cases to the health facility indicates where treatment occurs, but may miss where transmission and infection actually occur. Acceleration toward malaria elimination will require increasingly accurate, fine scale stratification of malaria transmission, especially as transmission becomes increasingly heterogeneous. This accurate stratification of source of infection at the local level provides critical information to the programme on how best to direct limited dedicated resources, enabling more accurate and effective targeting of interventions such as vector control measures,
South Africa’s malaria programme has renewed their commitment to increasing fine-scale stratification and mapping in the new National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan (2019-2023). To reach the goal of malaria elimination, they have utilized geographic information systems to enable fine-scale mapping, leveraging myriad data sources including open-source data, participatory mapping from provincial leaders, and case-based geographic data from the new DHIS2-based national malaria information surveillance system. Stratification of source of infection at the local level will help to ensure systematic elimination of malaria from municipalities and districts until South Africa is malaria-free.

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