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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353


JURY, M.R.  and  KANEMBA, A.D.. A climate-based model for malaria prediction in southeastern Africa. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2007, vol.103, n.1-2, pp.57-62. ISSN 1996-7489.

Malaria is a major health problem in southeastern Africa. In this study, we explore relationships between malaria and regional climate. Malaria incidence data from the eastern border of South Africa and Swaziland over a 33-year period were de-trended and used to identify epidemics. Composite weather maps were then constructed for seasons with high and low malaria incidence and evaluated. Surface-air temperature rose over the east coast during malaria epidemics and rainfall doubled over a large area including Swaziland, Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique. Remote climatic signals that anticipated malaria epidemics were found in composite analyses, and a statistical model was developed for prediction. Upper-level winds over the Western Pacific were found to predict 57% of malaria variance at a lead time of 6 months.

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