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Advancing the discipline of climate-informed malaria prediction and planning, and supporting its integration in malaria control programs worldwide
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WHY MALARIA AND CLIMATE?

CLIMATE CHANGE IS COMPLICATING EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE MALARIA AROUND THE WORLD

Climate change is harming the world’s health more rapidly and severely than we knew, diseases like malaria particularly climate-sensitive. 

Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events change the range and behavior of the mosquitoes that carry malaria and other diseases, making it harder to predict when and where outbreaks will occur. 

It also means that today’s malaria-free places are vulnerable. Communities may not be aware of preventative behaviors that can protect them from infection - like sleeping under bed nets. And their health systems aren’t prepared to detect and treat malaria promptly. 

That puts lives at risk. And it makes malaria elimination almost impossible.

According to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, “Climate Change 2022”

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In East and Southern Africa, 50-62 million people will be risk of malaria by the 2030s, and 196-198 million more at risk by the 2080s.

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In South Asia the population at risk of malaria infection is estimated to increase by 134 million by 2030.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR MALARIA AND CLIMATE SOLUTIONS (IMACS)

A GLOBAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE AT THE NEXUS OF MALARIA, CLIMATE, AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The Institute for Malaria and Climate Solutions is a virtual center of excellence established to advance the discipline of climate-informed malaria prediction and planning, and to support its integration in malaria control programs worldwide. IMACS brings together the foremost researchers and practitioners at the nexus of malaria, climate, and technology, creating a global network of experts in malaria early warning systems and other prediction and precision planning tools.

IMACS’ Three Pillars of Action

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Innovation & Original Research

Our Malaria Prediction and Planning Toolkit combines multiple advanced data sources and uses artificial intelligence to create increasingly accurate predictions of when and where a malaria outbreak could occur, and stop them before they do.

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NETWORK & KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION

Encouraging shared learning and standard methodologies, and collectively advancing the discipline of climate-informed prediction and planning.

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IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT SERVICES

Connecting interested malaria control programs from around the world with experts in our network and providing additional technical assistance to co-design locally relevant prediction and planning tools.

INNOVATIONS & ORIGINAL RESEARCH

MALARIA PREDICTION AND PLANNING TOOLKIT (MPPT)

IMACS’ first innovation is a sophisticated malaria prediction and planning toolkit currently being demonstrated in India. This new technology application combines multiple sources of complex and dynamic data, applies advanced modeling techniques, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and produces easy-to-use visual interpretations for malaria program managers in various roles within the health system – all to improve decision-making in support of malaria elimination. The MPPT is now ready for replication in other geographies, through a process of adaptation and integration to the local context.

MPPT

The IMACS Malaria Prediction and Planning Toolkit and dashboard contain multiple elements, including:

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Weather Info

High resolution data and forecasts for temperature, humidity, precipitation, and other relevant information

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Malaria Maps

Granular mapping of malaria incidence, hotspots, and risk stratification

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Monitoring Toolkit

User-friendly dashboards for monitoring supply chains, service, and program delivery

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Fever care

mHealth app for real-time fever detection, tracking, and management

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Malaria Intellibot

AI-based natural language processing bot for user-interaction

NETWORK & KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION

An Expert Network and Scientific Advisory Board

A Scientific Advisory Board provides objective input and oversight to curate the latest research and scholarship, drives the global research agenda, and plans an annual scientific conference. IMACS also convenes a community of practice around the discipline, enabling collective advancement through shared research priorities, lessons learned, and joint efforts. The IMACS Expert Network of leading researchers and practitioners meet regularly, virtually, to share their work, new innovations in the field, and provide mutual support and direction.
Knowlegde dissemination

Advancing the discipline of climate-informed malaria prediction and planning through:

Discussion of new research and findings

Harmonization of methodology and terminology

Collaboration opportunities for joint research

News sharing and knowledge dissemination

Routine networking and information exchange

IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT SERVICES

On-the-ground practical deployment

IMACS will mobilize on-the-ground technical assistance through its staff, expert network and Scientific Advisory Board, and with support from partner organizations, to assist national malaria control programs to deploy solutions using weather data, artificial intelligence, and other innovations to anticipate and plan for the effects of climate change on malaria transmission. Plans and recommendations are tailored to that countries’ needs and current situation with no “one-size-fits-all” solution with a focus on the enabling environment and other supporting structures to ensure success.
Implementation

The technical assistance phases of support are:

Needs assessment

Assessment of the current malaria control program, data availability, and local technical capacity

Recommendations

Identification of medium- and long-term opportunities to strengthen prediction and planning

Implementation Plan

Translating recommendations into practical work plans and resource requirements

Enabling environment

Data sharing agreements, intersectional solutions, and other support structures

Ongoing support

Long-term technical support for model maintenance, data acquisition, and capacity building