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11 September 2013

Can the growth of cities help to eliminate malaria?

Mosquito imageThe past century has seen unprecedented growth in cities around the world. Whilst the rise of megacities is a source of concern to some (see Feral cities, BBC Radio 4 and here in 'Latest research' ), according to researchers from the UK and USA, urbanization has been followed by a significant contraction in the extent of malaria throughout endemic countries.

Using city expansion data and malaria transmission maps covering the entire 20th century, Tatem et al in Malaria Journal 2013, have found a close relationship between urbanisation and malaria’s decline at global, national and subnational levels; a relationship which is maintained regardless of national wealth or latitude.

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