Cross-border malaria: a major obstacle for malaria elimination

Kinley Wangdi, Michelle L Gatton, Gerard C Kelly, Archie C A Clements

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Movement of malaria across international borders poses a major obstacle to achieving malaria elimination in the 34 countries that have committed to this goal. In border areas, malaria prevalence is often higher than in other areas due to lower access to health services, treatment-seeking behaviour of marginalized populations that typically inhabit border areas, difficulties in deploying prevention programmes to hard-to-reach communities, often in difficult terrain, and constant movement of people across porous national boundaries. Malaria elimination in border areas will be challenging and key to addressing the challenges is strengthening of surveillance activities for rapid identification of any importation or reintroduction of malaria. This could involve taking advantage of technological advances, such as spatial decision support systems, which can be deployed to assist programme managers to carry out preventive and reactive measures, and mobile phone technology, which can be used to capture the movement of people in the border areas and likely sources of malaria importation. Additionally, joint collaboration in the prevention and control of cross-border malaria by neighbouring countries, and reinforcement of early diagnosis and prompt treatment are ways forward in addressing the problem of cross-border malaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-107
Number of pages29
JournalAdvances in Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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