oa Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases - Application of geographical information system and remote sensing in malaria research and control in South Africa : a review : review article



This paper presents a review of numerous items of published literature on the use of spatial technology for malaria epidemiology in South Africa between 1930 and 2013. In particular, focus is on the use of statistical and mathematical models as well as geographic information science (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) technology for malaria research. First, the review takes cognisance of the use of predictive models to determine the association between climatic factors and malaria epidemics only in KwaZulu-Natal province. Similar studies in other endemic regions such as Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces have not been reported in the literature. While the integration of GIS with remote sensing has the potential of identifying, characterising, and monitoring breeding habitats and mapping malaria risk areas in South Africa, studies on the application of spatial technology in malaria research and control in South Africa are inexhaustive and have not been reported in the literature. As a result, a critical robust malaria warning system, which uses GIS and RS in South Africa, is yet to be realised. It is recommended that the wide range of datasets available from different sources including RS and global positioning systems (GPS) ought to be integrated into a GIS system, which is a core spatial technology vital for understanding the epidemiological processes of malaria and hence support in decision-making in malaria control.


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