Better Housing Architecture Could Halve Malaria Cases

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Improved housing with features such as closed eaves could lower malaria cases by half in some settings, according to a study.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States say that although housing improvement is key to public health, it has not been adequately assessed in malaria control efforts.

Therefore, the researchers conducted a systematic review and qualitative meta-analysis to assess six electronic databases to identify studies that were published from 1 January 1900 to 13 December 2013 which measured the association between house design and malaria incidence and risks.

According to the study, which was published in the Malaria Journal last month (9 June), the researchers identified 90 studies conducted in Africa, Asia and South America that compared the relationship between malaria cases in traditionally-built houses such as mud, stone, bamboo, or wood walls and modern houses, including those with closed eaves, ceilings and screened doors and windows.

“Residents of modern houses had 47 per cent lower odds of malaria infection compared to traditional houses …and a 45-65 per cent lower odds of clinical malaria,” the researchers wrote in the journal. “Despite low quality evidence, the direction and consistency of effects indicate that housing is an important risk factor for malaria.”

Co-author Steve Lindsay from UK-based Durham University, says: “Recent studies indicate that well-engineered, modern housing can be protective in many tropical countries where up to 80 to 100 percent malaria transmission occurs indoors at night”. – See more at:

Source: Science and Development Network (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
housing, infectious diseases, public health