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Malaria Atlas Project malaria risk maps

What do these maps show?

They show approximately where malaria is present globally and are not bad as a rough guide. They are being continually updated as better information on the distribution of malaria is collected.

Why are some distributions in 'no malaria' areas?

In these cases the white 'no malaria' indication is inaccurate. Our methods are being improved and these mistakes will diminish as our techniques and information improve.

How are these maps generated?

The maps show if malaria (either Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax) can be transmitted. To do this we record all areas for which malaria has been reported to have been transmitted from international travel health guidelines. We then exclude altitudes above which we know transmission cannot occur and big cities where we also know transmission is massively diminished. We also exclude very low population density areas where virtually nobody lives. The scientific publications describing the assembly and future of these maps can be found here.

What factors do these maps not take into account?

Many. For example, they do not consider small scale local variations like a river running through a dry area that would make malaria much more likely. They also do not consider malaria prevention activities. Importantly they will miss tiny villages in predominantly low population density areas.

Are better maps being produced and why?

Yes, better maps are being produced because they can help us better understand which areas are at risk of malaria. Importantly they will also be able to tell us how much malaria is within these boundaries. This can help those planning and carrying out action to fight malaria. For further background information visit the MAP website.

Use of MAP data on Against Malaria sites

The MAP map data has been superimposed on our own maps for purely illustrative purposes. Any inaccuracies with the maps or the positioning of MAP data is the responsibility of Against Malaria.