Author(s): Woube M
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Abstract The spatial distribution of malaria results from the interaction between vector, parasite, host, physical and human environments. This basic geographical approach provides an illustration of the geographical distribution of malaria in the world, particularly in the tropical regions. Due to the global climate change and population movements, it is predicted that malaria could have a greater impact on the non-immune or unprepared populations in the Northern Hemisphere in the coming decades. Presently, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the most adversely affected region in the world. Like any other SSA country, Ethiopia suffers from both epidemic (unstable) and endemic (stable) malaria in the high and lowland regions, respectively. Gambela is one of the areas with stable malaria in the humid tropical region of the country. This study is based on observations, unpublished data, interviews and discussions with settlers and officials in Gambela. It is found that a degree of diverse malaria prevalence is associated with altitudinal, temperature and rainfall variations. Owing to the settlement and land-use changes, unexpected rainfall patterns, temperature increase, unstable political system and poverty, malaria has gone beyond its geographical limits. As a result, the number of malaria affected people has increased in the last 12 years. It is suggested that proper physical and social planning, understanding the geography, entomology, epidemiology, behaviour and life-cycle of malaria parasite, cooperation between the policy-makers, malaria specialists, neighbouring countries and international communities are urgent, if malaria has to be controlled and eradicated. PIP: The spatial distribution of malaria results from the interaction between vector, parasite, host, physical, and human environments. No other region of the world is more adversely affected by malaria than sub-Saharan Africa. Like other sub-Saharan African countries, Ethiopia has both epidemic and endemic malaria in the high and lowland regions, respectively. Observations, interviews, and discussions were held with 200 resettlers and 40 indigenous inhabitants of Gambela, an area with stable malaria in the humid tropical region of the country. Findings on the spread of malaria in the area are based upon these observations and discussions, as well as unpublished data. A degree of diverse malaria prevalence was found to be associated with altitudinal, temperature, and rainfall variations. Due to settlement and land-use changes, unexpected rainfall patterns, temperature increase, an unstable political system, and poverty, malaria has spread beyond its geographical limits. The number of malaria-affected people has therefore increased over the past 12 years. Proper physical and social planning; knowledge of the geography, entomology, epidemiology, behavior, and life-cycle of the malaria parasite; and official and international cooperation are needed to control and eradicate malaria in this setting.
This article was published in Indian J Malariol
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development