Mapping Malaria from space and ground

Latest research published in The Lancet shows the success story to combat Malaria along with challenges faced by nations. Two studies present the most inclusive picture to date of the Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum parasites, which cause the majority of the world’s malaria burden. The two malaria parasites that contribute the most to the worldwide malaria burden are Plasmodium vivax (Pv) and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Plasmodium vivax (Pv) is the most geographically dominant species of human malaria.

Thie results show a 42% decline in the global burden of P. vivax malaria over the study period, but amplified stress in  the Middle East and South America since 2013. Venezuela, where occurrence has risen since 2012, is now the largest in the Americas.Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) is the most pernicious and prevalent malaria strain.

According to their research “over 90% of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in P. falciparum-endemic areas, and the region accounted for more than 80% of deaths from P. falciarpum in 2017. Infants and children under 5 years of age living in sub-Saharan Africa represented more than a third of P. falciparum cases globally in 2017.”

Map source-Weiss et al., 2019

Climatic factors like temperature, rainfall and humidity plays a major role in malaria transmission. Temperature affects the development of the malarial parasite. The high temperature of an area/zone leads to increase in the number of mosquitoes in these areas. High temperature acts as a favorable condition for the malarial parasites and the number of eggs laid by the mosquitoes increases.

“ The minimum temperature for mosquito development is between 8–10°C; the optimum temperature is 25–27°C, and the maximum temperature for is 40°C.”

The Malaria Atlas Project (MAP is a global network of researchers with knowledge in a wide range of disciplines. They work thoroughly to collect global records on malaria risk and intervention coverage and develop innovative analysis methods that use those data to address critical questions. To explore their dataset, please visit-

Using latest geospatial tools provided by Google Earth Engine, we have created a web app for you to visualize temperature change at monthly scale. Of course application of this is not limited to understanding Malaria outbreak, but also to understand the time series of seasonal variation in temperature since 2001.

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Weiss DJ, Lucas TCD, Nguyen M, et al. Mapping the global prevalence, incidence, and mortality of Plasmodium falciparum, 2000–17: a spatial and temporal modelling study. Lancet 2019; published online June 19. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31097-9

Battle KE, Lucas TCD, Nguyen M, et al. Mapping the global endemicity and clinical burden of Plasmodium vivax, 2000–17: a spatial and temporal modelling study. Lancet 2019; published online June 19. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31096-7