Research Initiative on Urban Malaria Control in Ghana
For the first time in history, half of the world’s populations live in cities, and by 2025 the urban population in Africa will increase to 800 million posing significant health risks on the urban-dwelling population, particularly the poor in informal settlements who are the most vulnerable to infectious diseases. Improving urban health by controlling poverty related diseases, such as malaria is of paramount importance to sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria has traditionally been a rural disease, however the increased urban migration diminishing boundaries between peri-urban and urban areas have resulted in a greater number of people are at risk of infection. To date, most epidemiological knowledge of social determinants and risk factors associated with malaria is based on research conducted in rural areas, which seems quite different from urban settings, but largely unknown. The knowledge is inadequate regarding health care services and management of malaria in the government, private and popular sector. In particular regarding efficiency of diagnostics of malaria, use of results to appropriately influence treatment, availability and quality of drugs and efficacy of antimalarial treatment. Furthermore, knowledge on drug seeking behaviour, social-economic and cultural factors influencing malaria epidemiology is lacking. Finally, knowledge on biomedical aspects such as malaria transmission patterns, vector ecology and malaria parasite dynamics in urban settings is limited. The aim of the project is to apply for initiative funding that will enable the formulation of a major grant proposal on urban malaria in Ghana, based on the identification of research priorities as well as research needs for further relevant research capacity development in urban malaria research in Ghana. In the process of developing a major grant proposal, and to ensure the maximum coordination, all relevant actors of importance in urban malaria research and control in Ghana will be identified.