WHO has approved and recommended the first malaria vaccine to be used for the prevention of P. falciparum malaria in children living in moderate to high transmission areas. However, while scale-up of vaccine manufacturing is underway, current supplies remain limited, and unit costs mean careful consideration must be given when prioritising access to maximise population protection. Under guiding principles set out by WHO, to ethically and fairly distribute vaccines, countries require a sub-national understanding of the areas of greatest need – based on disease burden, mortality and current interventions in place. To support such planning, MAP has been creating sub-national level risk maps of burden using routine case data from surveillance systems such as DHIS2 and cross-sectional surveys to provide geospatial estimates of malaria infection prevalence and clinical incidence. A joint modelling approach was used to learn the relationship between the two metrics, leverage the strengths of each data type and allow us to produce robust and accurate spatio-temporal risk maps of incidence and prevalence.
With initial implementation in Ghana and Mozambique, these ouputs have ben provided for use by malaria programs and partners in supplement to other information on metrics such as malaria mortality, access to care, and seasonality indexes to help guide vaccine rollout planning and prioritisation.