Kenya is situated in East Africa, bordered by the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Bisected by the Great Rift Valley, the country has a varied climate and landforms, with a semi-arid north, mountainous central highlands, a tropical coastline and fertile plains to the west. This geo-climatic profile lends itself to a diverse malaria profile with complex malaria control operations, where a "one solution" answer/plan is unsuitable for the country. Kenya struggles to reduce the number of malaria infections in endemic districts in the West of the country where children are greatly burdened by the disease; but those surviving to adulthood acquire partial immunity. This is in contrast with the epidemic prone areas of the highland districts and the arid / semi-arid North East districts, where, establishing effective diagnosis early warning systems and epidemic preparedness capacity is essential to controlling the impact of malaria when epidemics strike.
In these epidemic areas, the entire population lacks immunity and during times of malaria transmission will suffer the greatest number of malaria cases and deaths. Such situations have been seen repeatedly in North Eastern Province during large scale flooding in the "El Nino" years of 1997/1998 and 2006/2007. The most deadly form of malaria parasite Plasmodium Falciparum is predominant in the country and malaria vectors/ mosquitoes (Anopheles Arabienses) are abundant in varying proportions when floodwaters recede.
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Please see the article published by Comic Relief and given to the UK press in March, describing our the start up of our innovative work on malaria epidemic detection with ARGOS: