Effects of global climate on mosquito numbers and malaria cases in the Kilombero Valley in Tanzania
El Nino weather events have been shown to impact significantly on many mosquito-borne diseases (VBDs), including malaria, dengue,Rift Valley fever and others. While the link between El Nino and disease is well established, the mechanism underlying it isnot fully understood. Here we aim to take advantage of the collection over the past 9 years of detailed entomological data on malaria mosquitoes to detect any changes to seasonal changes of mosquito numbers and species found caused by the current El Nino event.
We aim to understand how El Niño events impact on VBDs. We focus on malaria, which remains the VBD with the greatest impact on human mortality and morbidity. Malariais caused by parasitic protozoa of the genus Plasmodium and it is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes.
The spatial limits of malaria distribution, its seasonal activity and the mosquito vector dynamics are very sensitive to climate factors, as well as the local capacity to control the disease.This study explores the connections between the current El Niño event, its impact on regional and local climate, and the subsequent consequences on malaria vectors and malaria burden in Tanzania.
The study is carried out to better understand how El Nino affects malaria, and in order to build an early warning system prototype for malaria risk in Tanzania.
The overall aim of this project is to detect a perturbation to the dynamics of a disease vector triggered by the current ElNino, relate it to underlying weather conditions, and assess its impact on levels of clinical disease. Demonstrating that the link between El Nino and VBD lies in the dynamics of the vector itself, and is triggered by weather, will enable control measures (against the vector) to be implemented earlier, or other mitigation measures to be undertaken.