SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.103 issue1-2Extended procolophonoid reptile survivorship after the end-Permian extinctionSurface drift at the western edge of the Agulhas Bank author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Science

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

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.1-2 Pretoria Jan./Feb. 2007




A climate-based model for malaria prediction in southeastern Africa



M.R. JuryI, II; A.D. KanembaIII

IGeography Department, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa.
IICurrent affiliation: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681, U.S.A.
IIITanzanian Meteorological Agency, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.




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.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Mouchet J. et al. (1997). The reconquest of the Madagascar highlands by malaria. Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot. 90, 162-168.         [ Links ]

2. WHO Roll Back Malaria Report (2003). Online:        [ Links ]

3. Bonora S. et al. (2001).Rising temperature and the malaria epidemic in Burundi. Trends Parasitol. 17(12), 572-573.         [ Links ]

4. Byass P et al. (2002). The role of demographic surveillance systems in assessing the health of communities: an example from rural Ethiopia. Public Health 116, 145-150.         [ Links ]

5. Kleinschmidt I., Clarke G.P., Bagayoko M., Craig M.H. and le Sueur D. (2000). A spatial statistical approach to malaria mapping. Int. J. Epidemiol. 29, 355-361.         [ Links ]

6. Worrall E. (2002). The burden of malaria and cost effectiveness in epidemic situations. Proc. 3rd MIM African Conference on Malaria, Arusha, Tanzania.         [ Links ]

7. Snow R.W. et al. (1999). Estimating mortality, morbidity and disability due to malaria among Africa's non-pregnant population. Bull. WHO 77, 624-640.         [ Links ]

8. Lepers J.P et al. (1989). Malaria in a Malagasy highlands village. Arch. Inst. Pasteur 56, 97-130.         [ Links ]

9. Craig M.H., Kleinschmidt I., Nawn J.B., Le Sueur D. and Sharp B.L. (2004). Exploring 30 years of malaria case data in KZ-Natal South Africa: Part 1. The impact of climatic factors. Trop. Med. Int. Hlth 9, 1247-1257.         [ Links ]

10. Ettling M. et al. (1994). Economic impact of malaria in Malawi households. Trop. Med. Parasitol. 45, 74-79.         [ Links ]

11. Le Sueur D. and Sharp B.L. (1991). Temperature dependent variation in the Anopheles merus and implications for taxonomy. Med. Vet. Entomol. 5, 55-62.         [ Links ]

12. Coluzzi M. (1994). Malaria and the Afro-tropical ecosystems: impact of man-made environmental changes. Parasitologia 36, 223-227.         [ Links ]

13. Craig M. H., Snow R.W. and le Sueur D. (1999). A climate-based distribution model of malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Parasitology Today 15, 105-111.         [ Links ]

14. SnowR.W. et al. (1999). Apreliminary continental risk map for malaria mortality among African children. Parasitology Today 15, 99-104.         [ Links ]

15. Dyer T.G.J. and Tyson P.D. (1978). Estimating above normal and below normal rainfall periods over South Africa, 1972-2000. J. Appl. Met. 16, 145-147.         [ Links ]

16. Rocha A. (1992). The influence of global SST's on the southern African summer climate. Ph.D thesis, University of Melbourne, Australia.         [ Links ]

17. Kalnay E. et al. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40 year reanalysis project. Bull. Am. Met. Soc. 77, 437-471.         [ Links ]

18. Reynolds R.W. and Smith T.M. (1994). Improved global sea surface temperature analysis using optimum interpolation. J. Climate 7, 929-948.         [ Links ]

19. Loevisohn M.E. (1994). Climate warming and increased malaria incidence in Rwanda. The Lancet 343, 714-718.         [ Links ]

20. Jetten T.H., Martens P. and Takken W. (1996). Model simulations to estimate malaria risk under climate change. J. Med. Entomol. 33, 361-71.         [ Links ]

21. Tanser F.C., Sharp B.L. and Le Sueur D. (2003). Potential effect of climate change on malaria transmission in Africa. The Lancet 362, 1792-1798.         [ Links ]

22. Jury M.R. and Melice J-L. (2000). Analysis of Durban rainfall and Nile river flow 1871-1999. Theor. Appl. Climatol. 67, 161-169.         [ Links ]

23. Le Sueur D. and Sharp B.L., Gouws E. and Ngxongo S. (1996). Malaria in South Africa. S. Afr. Med. J. 86, 936-939.         [ Links ]

24. Nawn J.B., Kleinschmidt I. and Sharp B.L. (2004). Temperature as a predictor of severe malaria years in Zimbabwe, not South Africa. S. Afr .J. Sci. 100, 262.         [ Links ]

25. Servain J., Wainer I., McCreary J.P. and Dessier A. (1999). Relationship between equatorial and meridional modes of climatic variability in the tropical Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 485-488.         [ Links ]

26. Jury M.R., Mulenga H. and Rautenbach H. (2000). Tropical Atlantic variability and Indo-Pacific ENSO: statistical analysis and numerical simulation. Global Atmos. Ocean System 7, 107-124.         [ Links ]

27. Jury M. R. and Huang B. (2004). The Rossby wave as a key mechanism of Indian Ocean climate variability. Deep-Sea Res. 51, 2123-2136.         [ Links ]

28. Jury M.R. and Lucio F.D. (2004). The Mozambique floods of February 2000 in context. S. Afr. Geogr. J. 86, 141-146.         [ Links ]

29. Lindsay S.W. and Martens P. 1998). Malaria in the African Highlands: past, present and future. Bull. WHO 76, 33-45.         [ Links ]



Received 14 October 2005.
Accepted 6 February 2007.



Author for correspondence. E-mail:

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License