Andy Hardy is a lecturer in Remote Sensing and GIS at Aberystwyth University. Over the last eight years, Andy has been involved in a range of projects using Earth Observation technologies for a range of applications including Natural Environment Research Council funded projects into hydrological driver of malaria (Tanzania, Zambia); Innovative Vector Control Consortium funded project using drones and smartphone technology to support vector control in Zanzibar; and the development of a global mangrove monitoring system.
Tried and tested methods for controlling malaria, such as bed nets and indoor insecticide spraying, have helped reduce malaria transmission to historic lows across sub-Saharan Africa but these indoor-based interventions have little effect on outdoor biting mosquitoes. As such, if we are to achieve the ambitious goal of malaria elimination we may need to supplement these interventions with those that take the battle to the malaria mosquitoes themselves.
There are a number of historic examples where vector control has helped to control or even eliminate malaria, particularly through the dissemination of larvicide in the pools of water that malarial mosquitoes use to breed. Yet in a resource limited world, this approach is often overlooked due to the effort associated with locating, visiting and treating pools of water over large areas.
Using the latest satellite and drone technology we have the tools to be able to map water bodies over large areas in a timely fashion. Combining this information with an understanding of vector ecology, we have the ability to target larval source interventions leading to a more efficient and effective use of resources.
This event will be recorded and livestreamed