The overall goal of the proposed work is to advance the understanding of climate variability and change in East Africa in relation to the transmission of malaria in order to better inform policy decisions related to current control and future elimination strategies. To achieve this we will create a multi-model ensemble malaria modeling framework that will enable public health researchers to assess and characterize population vulnerability to malaria. The framework can be adapted to multiple population, public health outcomes/ diseases, and can be used to explore policy relevant questions including: what is the likely impact on malaria of a) current climate and b) alternative climatic futures in East Africa derived from and current quality assured observations of climate variability and plausible predictions of future climate based on climate change models. This proposal has the following specific objectives: Objective 1. In collaboration with National Meteorological Agencies (such as the Ethiopia NMA) improve the availability, access and uses of quality assured relevant climate data and undertake analysis at the national and subnational level. Objective 2. Building on prior research develop and test a climate driven malaria transmission modeling framework (which incorporates demographic, socio-economic and control factors) for East Africa that accounts for uncertainty in model initial conditions and parameterization and make this framework freely available to researchers in affected countries. Objective 3 In collaboration with regional researchers (in Ethiopia and elsewhere) undertake research on policy relevant questions that must be answered if the confounding effect of climate variability and change on historic, current and future malaria outcomes is to be addressed.
Here we propose the creation of new and innovative data, methodologies and tools that can be used to build evidence of the relationship between the drivers of malaria transmission, disease control measures and the health of vulnerable populations in East Africa. The expected outcome of this project is that malaria researchers in affected countries will be able to identify opportunities for improving the effectiveness of contro and elimination strategies by incorporating an understanding of likely short and longer term changes in the climate in their analysis.