Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 4:00 PM
Global Malaria Watch From Space
Room 333 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Among vector born diseases malaria creates the greatest diseases burden in the world, because it is deadly and cover large area. World statistics indicates that malaria occurs in 109 countries with a ½ of the world population affected. Every year 300-500 million clinical cases of malaria occur with 1.5-3 million fatalities. Children, old people and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to malaria. Africa is the most affected continent, which contributes 60 % of global malaria cases and 80% of death. Malaria is strongly affected by the environment. Climate and ecosystems determines distribution of malaria and weather affects timing, duration, area and intensity of outbreaks. In general warm and wet weather stimulated mosquitoes hatching, activity and the rate of diseases transmission to people. Such weather parameters as precipitation, temperature and relative humidity serve as the indicators of diseases and their development. However, weather station network is not dense enough especially in Africa for effective diseases monitoring. Therefore, satellite data have been used in recent years for global malaria watch. New Vegetation health (VH), techniques have been developed and applied successfully for early detection and monitoring malaria from the operational environmental satellite. VH was developed from reflectance/emission measured by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) flown on NOAA polar-orbiting satellites since 1981. The calibrated measurements in the visible and near infrared wavelength were converted to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and in the infrared wavelength to brightness temperature (BT), which were expressed as a deviation from 30-year climatology. Three indices characterizing moisture (VCI), thermal (TCI) and vegetation health (VHI) conditions were produced and calibrated against in situ data. They were applied to identify malaria early enough to mitigate its consequences. These results covering Africa, Asia and South America will be presented.