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Plasmodium falciparum

Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the more deadly form of the malaria parasite, causes 300-500 million clinical cases and approximately one million deaths each year. After decades of neglect, the global campaign against the disease has entered an unprecedented era. A ten-fold increase in annual funding since 2000 has led to substantial scale-ups in the population coverage of key interventions, including vector control and effective antimalarial drugs, and increasingly ambitious targets have been set for minimising malaria disease and death and for regional elimination.


Critical to these efforts is the capacity to measure malaria morbidity and mortality, to evaluate geographical patterns of risk, and to assess how these may be changing in response to control efforts. Our research uses global assemblies of malariometric data coupled with geospatial statistical and biological modelling to map changing patterns of malaria transmission, illness and death. These outputs help elucidate the impact of investment, track progress towards international targets, and plan future resource requirements.

Current projects

Strategic planning tools for staging malaria elimination

August 2014 - September 2019

The purpose of this grant is to develop models and theory to support large-scale regional planning and for staging sustainable malaria elimination. This grant is led by Prof. David L. Smith.

The purpose of this grant is to develop models and theory to support large-scale regional planning and for staging sustainable malaria elimination. This grant is led by Prof. David L. Smith.

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The purpose of this grant is to develop models and theory to support large-scale regional planning and for staging sustainable malaria elimination. This grant is led by Prof. David L....

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The changing endemicity and disease burden of Plasmodium falciparum

January 2013 - December 2017

At a time when increases in funding for malaria control have led to widespread scale-up of key interventions, our understanding of how P. falciparum malaria transmission, disease, and death may be changing, remains inadequate to support evidence-based decision making, particularly in high-endemic countries with the weakest health information systems. In work funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we are developing new space-time modelling protocols and malariometric databases to monitor changing patterns of disease, evaluate program impact, and contribute to the measurement of international targets. Sam BhattDonal BisanzioEwan CameronUrsula DalrympleBonnie Mappin, and Dan Weiss, work on this project, led by Peter Gething as part of the Malaria Atlas Project.

At a time when increases in funding for malaria control have led to widespread scale-up of key interventions, our understanding of how P. falciparum malaria transmission, disease, and death may be changing, remains inadequate to support evidence-based decision making, particularly in high-endemic countries with the weakest health information systems. In work funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we are developing new space-time modelling protocols and malariometric databases to monitor changing patterns of disease, evaluate program impact, and contribute to the measurement of international targets. Sam BhattDonal BisanzioEwan CameronUrsula DalrympleBonnie Mappin, and Dan Weiss, work on this project, led by Peter Gething as part of the Malaria Atlas Project.

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At a time when increases in funding for malaria control have led to widespread scale-up of key interventions, our understanding of how P. falciparum malaria transmission, disease, and death may be changing, remains inadequate to support...

Read more

The Malaria Modeling Consortium Secretariat

November 2014 - October 2017

Mathematical models can play an important role in guiding policy for malaria eradication. This grant establishes a consortium to coordinate mathematical modeling activities for eradication.

A new Malaria Modelling Consortium (MMC)will be created to support the global malaria elimination and eradication strategy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the MMC is to provide a platform for generating consensus advice for malaria eradication strategy and to provide a unified mechanism for conveying the collective knowledge gained from mathematical models into useful policy.

The MMC will comprise of five different core modelling groups (Imperial College London, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, MORU, Oxford University and Institute for Disease Modeling) coordinated through an MMC Secretariat at the University of Oxford led by Prof. Simon Hay.

Mathematical models can play an important role in guiding policy for malaria eradication. This grant establishes a consortium to coordinate mathematical modeling activities for eradication.

A new Malaria Modelling Consortium (MMC)will be created to support the global malaria elimination and eradication strategy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the MMC is to provide a platform for generating consensus advice for malaria eradication strategy and to provide a unified mechanism for conveying the collective knowledge gained from mathematical models into useful policy.

The MMC will comprise of five different core modelling groups (Imperial College London, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, MORU, Oxford University and Institute for Disease Modeling) coordinated through an MMC Secretariat at the University of Oxford led by Prof. Simon Hay.

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Mathematical models can play an important role in guiding policy for malaria eradication. This grant establishes a consortium to coordinate mathematical modeling activities for eradication. A new Malaria Modelling Consortium (MMC)will be created to...

Read more

Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship
Human mobility in the Indonesian archipelago and risk of malaria importation into the receptive malaria free zones.

October 2013 - September 2016

This research aims to develop the quantitative framework of human mobility and feasibility assessment for malaria elimination in the Indonesian archipelago where the risk of infection with malaria is extremely heterogeneous across the 5000 km-long chain of 17,000 islands. This research will be essential to comprehensively improving the national evidence-based malaria control strategies to reach the pre-elimination stage by 2020 and to be free of malaria in 2030.

The work will prioritize three areas: 1) the use of mobile phone data to explore the patterns of massive human movement across Indonesian archipelago, 2) determination of the likely sources, risks and number of imported malaria among travellers and susceptible individuals and 3) mapping the operational feasibility and constraints of malaria elimination.

Substantial spatial data, established modelling framework and high resolution of database will be incorporated to capture within-country differences exist that might underscore different challenges faced by districts. Critical indicators that constrain districts from achieving their elimination agenda will be identified. This research will allow malaria control authorities to design interventions that can reduce transmission in all regions adapted to local situations.

Iqbal Elyazar's Research Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine awarded by the Wellcome Trust is under the sponsorship of Simon Hay, Kevin Baird and Andrew Tatem.

This research aims to develop the quantitative framework of human mobility and feasibility assessment for malaria elimination in the Indonesian archipelago where the risk of infection with malaria is extremely heterogeneous across the 5000 km-long chain of 17,000 islands. This research will be essential to comprehensively improving the national evidence-based malaria control strategies to reach the pre-elimination stage by 2020 and to be free of malaria in 2030.

The work will prioritize three areas: 1) the use of mobile phone data to explore the patterns of massive human movement across Indonesian archipelago, 2) determination of the likely sources, risks and number of imported malaria among travellers and susceptible individuals and 3) mapping the operational feasibility and constraints of malaria elimination.

Substantial spatial data, established modelling framework and high resolution of database will be incorporated to capture within-country differences exist that might underscore different challenges faced by districts. Critical indicators that constrain districts from achieving their elimination agenda will be identified. This research will allow malaria control authorities to design interventions that can reduce transmission in all regions adapted to local situations.

Iqbal Elyazar's Research Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine awarded by the Wellcome Trust is under the sponsorship of Simon Hay, Kevin Baird and Andrew Tatem.

Read less

This research aims to develop the quantitative framework of human mobility and feasibility assessment for malaria elimination in the Indonesian archipelago where the risk of infection with malaria is extremely heterogeneous across the 5000 km-long...

Read more