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GIS based malaria risk assessment

Mame Zewga

Malaria is grave and long-lasting disease instigated by a protozoan parasite of the plasmodium species. It is the root cause of one million deaths annually throughout the world. From this, 90% of death is experienced by young children in the South of the Sahara, in Africa. In Ethiopia, malaria is found in about 75% of the total area of the country and more than 68% of the total population is at risk of infection. The main objective of this study was to assess and map the risk of malaria in Kewet Woreda, North Shewa Zone, Amhara Region. For the last few years, the outbreak of malaria in the study area started to decrease. But still, malaria was the top ten disease which is the cause for high morbidity and mortality in the Woreda. To assess and map the risk of malaria, nine determining factors included elevation, rainfall, wetland, and swamp area, river, temperature, distance from the health centers, slope, land use/cover, and population density was selected. These factor maps were combined by using Weighted Multi- Criteria Evaluation on IDRISI 17.0 environment. To assess the socio-economic aspect household survey was carried out. To do so, 137 respondents were systematically selected from five kebeles. Malaria risk map of the study area showed that almost all kebele within Kewet Woreda highly affected by Malaria. Almost 3/4 of the areas fall in the very high (25%), high (45.4%), and moderate (22.9%) malaria risk levels and the remaining only 6.7% of the area labeled as malaria-free. Regarding the impact of malaria in the study area almost all respondents systematically selected from five kebeles indicated that their families were highly affected by malaria, and they use ITBN and insecticide spraying as coping mechanisms. GIS and remote sensing play a great role in enhancing malaria risk zone mapping. Therefore, to minimize the risk of malaria in the area, the Woreda health office should use GIS and Remote sensing technology, could aware of the people about the importance of drainage and effective use of ITBN, construct health centers at a very high and high-risk area.