The Effect of Climate Change on Malaria in Western Africa
Jackson, M.C., Johansen, L., Furlong, C., Colson, A. and Sellers, K.F. 2010. Modelling the effect of climate change on prevalence of malaria in western Africa. Statistica Neerlandica 64: 388-400.
In an effort designed to shed some light on this important question, the five U.S. researchers linked reported malaria cases and deaths from the years 1996 to 2006 that they obtained from the World Malaria Report (2008) for ten countries in western Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) with corresponding climate data they obtained from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, after which they searched for transitive relationships between the weather variables and malaria rates via spatial regression analysis and tests for correlation. So what did they find?
Jackson et al. report that their analyses showed that "very little correlation exists between rates of malaria prevalence and climate indicators in western Africa." This result, as they describe it, "contradicts the prevailing theory that climate and malaria prevalence are closely linked and also negates the idea that climate change will increase malaria transmission in the region."
Breman, J.G. 2001. The ears of the hippopotamus: manifestations, determinants, and estimates of the malaria burden. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 64: 1-11.
Sun, K.N., Kain, K.C. and Keystone, J.S. 2004. Malaria. Canadian Medical Association Journal 170: 1693-1702.