New tool predicts malaria 90 days before an outbreak
Friday 17 September 2010
A collaborative nine-year research project in Kenya has created the September launch of a new tool that calculates data based on environmental factors (weather, geography) and mosquitoes' mating schedule to successfully (within 86-100 percent) predict a malaria epidemic.
The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya Meteorological Department and International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology tested their tool in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda according to Canada's International Development Research Centre, which also co-funded the collaboration.
KEMRI's director Dr. Solomon Mpoke explained, "This tool will immensely change the way we are going to control malaria in Kenya and the Greater Horn of Africa, since we will have an early warning from the tool three months before it happens."
The United Nations had urged this tool be developed before the researchers understood its efficacy.
"The disease prediction tool should also help policymakers and health officials prepare in time to deal with looming outbreaks," with regards to when and where to spray.
On September 20-22, the world's leaders will meet in New York City to discuss the world's greatest health challenges (malaria, HIV-AIDS, mother/child mortality, hunger) and accomplishments. http://www.endpoverty2015.org/2010_mdg_review_summit
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