Remotely Sensed Environmental Conditions and Malaria Mortality in Three Malaria Endemic Regions in Western KenyaReportar como inadecuado

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Malaria is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in malaria endemic countries. The malaria mosquito vectors depend on environmental conditions, such as temperature and rainfall, for reproduction and survival. To investigate the potential for weather driven early warning systems to prevent disease occurrence, the disease relationship to weather conditions need to be carefully investigated. Where meteorological observations are scarce, satellite derived products provide new opportunities to study the disease patterns depending on remotely sensed variables. In this study, we explored the lagged association of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index NVDI, day Land Surface Temperature LST and precipitation on malaria mortality in three areas in Western Kenya.

Methodology and Findings

The lagged effect of each environmental variable on weekly malaria mortality was modeled using a Distributed Lag Non Linear Modeling approach. For each variable we constructed a natural spline basis with 3 degrees of freedom for both the lag dimension and the variable. Lag periods up to 12 weeks were considered. The effect of day LST varied between the areas with longer lags. In all the three areas, malaria mortality was associated with precipitation. The risk increased with increasing weekly total precipitation above 20 mm and peaking at 80 mm. The NDVI threshold for increased mortality risk was between 0.3 and 0.4 at shorter lags.


This study identified lag patterns and association of remote- sensing environmental factors and malaria mortality in three malaria endemic regions in Western Kenya. Our results show that rainfall has the most consistent predictive pattern to malaria transmission in the endemic study area. Results highlight a potential for development of locally based early warning forecasts that could potentially reduce the disease burden by enabling timely control actions.

Autor: Maquins Odhiambo Sewe , Clas Ahlm, Joacim Rocklöv



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