Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

New findings show modern housing reduces malaria risk

09 June 2015

Researchers from UCSF, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (link is external) (LSHTM) and Durham University (link is external), published a new review in Malaria Journal, entitled The evidence for improving housing to reduce malaria: a systematic review and meta-analysis (link is external). In the study, the researchers reviewed 90 studies in Africa, Asia and South America comparing malaria cases in traditional houses (mud, stone, bamboo or wood walls; thatched, mud or wood roofs; earth or wood floors) and modern houses (closed eaves, ceilings, screened doors and windows). They found residents of modern homes were 47% less likely to be infected with malaria than those living in traditional houses.

According to lead author Lucy Tusting from LSHTM, “Our study suggests housing could be an important tool in tackling malaria. This is a welcome finding at a time when we are facing increasing resistance to our most effective insecticides and drugs. We now need to pinpoint which housing features can reduce mosquito entry in different settings, to incorporate these into local housing designs and to assess the impact on malaria in large-scale field trials.”