Although the development of early warning systems for malaria has been advocated by international agencies and academic researchers for many years, practical progress in this area has been relatively modest. In two recent articles, Thomson et al. provide new evidence that models of malaria incidence that incorporate monitored or predicted climate can provide early warnings of epidemics one to five months in advance in semi-arid areas. Although the potential benefits of these models in terms of improved management of epidemics are clear, several technical and practical hurdles still need to be overcome before the models can be widely integrated into routine malaria-control strategies.
Trends in Parasitology (2007) 23 (6) 243-246 [doi:10.1016/j.pt.2007.03.008]
Early warning systems for malaria in Africa: from blueprint to practice