GIS malaria risk assessment of Akure North and South Local Government Areas, Ondo State, Nigeria
Malaria, a mosquito-borne, protozoan disease, is an important health problem of developing countries, especially Africa. The study was designed to map malaria risk areas within Akure North and South Local Government Areas of Ondo State. Health-based survey, larval survey, socio-economic survey, and Geographic Information System (GIS) were used in achieving the objectives of the study. Larvae of mosquitoes were collected from breeding sites across the study areas; information on reported malaria cases from year 2010 to 2013 were retrieved from primary health centres, while socio-economic data of the population were generated using questionnaires. Maps of dumpsites, rivers, primary health centres and land use/land cover of the areas were generated using a combination of field and satellite data in a GIS environment. Pearson’s chi-square was used to correlate variables. The results showed that the presence of anopheline larvae (18%) in the study areas and the socio-economic characteristics of the population were contributory factors to malaria infection. Environmental conditions of respondents were significant (p<0.05) when correlated with prevalence of malaria (62.4%). High prevalence of malaria and the presence of anopheline mosquitoes indicated that the entire study area is a malaria endemic zone as represented in the generated risk map. Therefore, it can be concluded that a change in environmental conditions and lifestyle choices can reduce the malaria endemicity. Areas with high altitude, presence of larvae, water bodies, dumpsites and other factors present higher risk of malaria and vice versa. The introduction of environmental sanitation could ensure that mosquito breeding grounds are eliminated through filling up of depressions, disposing shells, discarding cans and earthen vessels appropriately.
Keywords: GIS, malaria, risk map, mosquito, primary health centre