Spatio-temporal monitoring of health facility-level malaria trends in Zambia and adaptive scaling for operational intervention

Jailos Lubinda, Yaxin Bi, Ubydul Haque, Mukuma Lubinda, Busiku Hamainza, Adrian J Moore

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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BackgroundThe spatial and temporal variability inherent in malaria transmission within countries implies that targeted interventions for malaria control in high-burden settings and subnational elimination are a practical necessity. Identifying the spatio-temporal incidence, risk, and trends at different administrative geographies within malaria-endemic countries and monitoring them in near real-time as change occurs is crucial for developing and introducing cost-effective, subnational control and elimination intervention strategies.MethodsThis study developed intelligent data analytics incorporating Bayesian trend and spatio-temporal Integrated Laplace Approximation models to analyse high-burden over 32 million reported malaria cases from 1743 health facilities in Zambia between 2009 and 2015.ResultsThe results show that at least 5.4 million people live in catchment areas with increasing trends of malaria, covering over 47% of all health facilities, while 5.7 million people live in areas with a declining trend (95% CI), covering 27% of health facilities. A two-scale spatio-temporal trend comparison identified significant differences between health facilities and higher-level districts, and the pattern observed in the southeastern region of Zambia provides the first evidence of the impact of recently implemented localised interventions.ConclusionsThe results support our recommendation for an adaptive scaling approach when implementing national malaria monitoring, control and elimination strategies and a particular need for stratified subnational approaches targeting high-burden regions with increasing disease trends. Strong clusters along borders with highly endemic countries in the north and south of Zambia underscore the need for coordinated cross-border malaria initiatives and strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCommunications medicine
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Malaria
  • epidemiology


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