Managing malaria is difficult, especially in areas where other illnesses, such as arboviruses (like Dengue Fever and Rift Valley Fever), cause fevers that are often misdiagnosed and treated as malaria. Knowing how much habitat is available for mosquitoes that transmit malaria (Anopheles mosquitoes) compared to habitat for mosquitoes that transmit arboviruses (Aedes mosquitoes) can help distinguish the likelihood of malaria infections relative to arbovirus infections.
HealthBridge and colleagues at the University of Ottawa are working with partners at the research hospital in Moshi, Tanzania to develop habitat maps for Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes in Tanzania. The focus is on teaching the partners how to use geographic information systems (GIS) and habitat modelling software to develop the maps themselves and to increase their in-house capacity to do research using the maps.
We will produce habitat maps for Anopheles gambiae s.s., Anopheles arabiensis and Aedes spp. These maps will help target mosquito vector control strategies and management of malaria and arboviruses, which will mean a higher rate of correct diagnosis and treatment.