Spatial and temporal dynamics of malaria in Madagascar

Felana A. Ihantamalala, Feno M.J. Rakotoarimanana, Tanjona Ramiadantsoa, Jean Marius Rakotondramanga, Gwenaëlle Pennober, Fanjasoa Rakotomanana, Simon Cauchemez, Charlotte J.E. Metcalf, Vincent Herbreteau, Amy Wesolowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Malaria is one of the primary health concerns in Madagascar. Based on the duration and intensity of transmission, Madagascar is divided into five epidemiological strata that range from low to mesoendemic transmission. In this study, the spatial and temporal dynamics of malaria within each epidemiological zone were studied. Methods: The number of reported cases of uncomplicated malaria from 112 health districts between 2010 and 2014 were compiled and analysed. First, a Standardized Incidence Ratio was calculated to detect districts with anomalous incidence compared to the stratum-level incidence. Building on this, spatial and temporal malaria clusters were identified throughout the country and their variability across zones and over time was analysed. Results: The incidence of malaria increased from 2010 to 2014 within each stratum. A basic analysis showed that districts with more than 50 cases per 1000 inhabitants are mainly located in two strata: East and West. Lower incidence values were found in the Highlands and Fringe zones. The standardization method revealed that the number of districts with a higher than expected numbers of cases increased through time and expanded into the Highlands and Fringe zones. The cluster analysis showed that for the endemic coastal region, clusters of districts migrated southward and the incidence of malaria was the highest between January and July with some variation within strata. Conclusion: This study identified critical districts with low incidence that shifted to high incidence and district that were consistent clusters across each year. The current study provided a detailed description of changes in malaria epidemiology and can aid the national malaria programme to reduce and prevent the expansion of the disease by targeting the appropriate areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


  • Madagascar
  • Malaria
  • SaTScan
  • Standardized Incidence Ratio
  • Strata


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