2015 El Niño: Notes for the East African Malaria Community
UPDATE: This publication was originally produced by IRI in June 2015. It has been updated monthly, and the October 2015 version is now available here [PDF].
Climate is one of many variables that influence where and when malaria outbreaks occur. Precipitation, humidity and temperature affect the development and survival of mosquitoes, with temperature also affecting the malaria parasites carried by mosquitoes. This in turn can affect the transmission of this vector-borne disease.
El Niño, a periodic climate phenomenon influencing weather and climate around world, increases the probability for wetter conditions in some regions of Africa and drier conditions in other areas of the continent. El Niño also increases temperatures around the tropics. The El Niño event declared earlier this year is forecasted to continue and possibly strengthen, providing the ability to anticipate likely seasonal climate conditions.
In light of this, IRI has released a bulletin addressing malaria and El Niño in East Africa. The PDF is available here. The report provides information to assist health planners and practitioners in monitoring the vulnerability of communities and providing time-sensitive information for interventions to reduce malaria transmission in Eastern Africa.
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, which is a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre for Early Warning Systems for Malaria and Other Climate Sensitive Diseases, has been working for over a decade to better understand the relationship between malaria and climate, with the intent of applying this research into malaria prevention, control and elimination. More on our malaria research here.