International population movements and regional Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination strategies

Andrew J. Tatem, David L. Smitha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Calls for the eradication ofmalaria require the development of global and regional strategies based on a strong and consistent evidence base. Evidence fromthe previous global malaria eradication program and more recent transborder control campaigns have shown the importance of accounting for human movement in introducing infections to areas targeted for elimination. Here, census-based migration data were analyzed with network analysis tools, Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission maps, and global population data-bases to map globally communities of countries linked by relatively high levels of infection movements. The likely principal sources and destinations of imported cases in each region were also mapped. Results indicate that certain groups of countries, suchas those in West Africa and central Asia are much more strongly connected by relatively high levels of population and infection movement than others. In contrast, countries such as Ethiopia and Myanmar display significantly greater isolation in terms of likely infection movements in and out. The mapping here of both communities of countries linked by likely higher levels of infection movement, and "natural" migration boundaries that display reducedmovement of people and infections between regions has practical utility. These maps can inform the design ofmalaria elimination strategies by identifying regional communities of countries afforded protection from recolonization by surrounding regions of reduced migration. For more isolated countries, a nationally focused control or elimination program is likely to stand a better chance of success than those receiving high levels of visitors and migrants from high-transmission regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12222-12227
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 6 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Community detection
  • Eradication
  • Imported malaria
  • Migration
  • Network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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