Hitting hotspots: Spatial targeting of malaria for control and elimination

Current malaria elimination guidelines are based on the concept that malaria transmission becomes heterogeneous in the later phases of malaria elimination. In the pre-elimination and elimination phases, interventions have to be targeted to entire villages or towns with higher malaria incidence until only individual episodes of malaria remain and become the centre of attention. With increasing evidence of clustering of malaria episodes within villages, we argue that there is an intermediate step. Heterogeneity in malaria transmission within villages is present long before areas enter the pre-elimination phase, and identifying and targeting hotspots of malaria transmission should form the cornerstone of both successful malaria control and malaria elimination.

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