This paper, published in BMC public health, examines the effects of meteorological factors (temperature, relative humidity and rainfall) on the incidence of clinical malaria. It uses data collected from over 670 children in urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso. The paper finds that all of the meteorological factors investigated affect the incidence of malaria among children under five, and that mean temperature alone is the strongest predictor of clinical malaria. The relationship with clinical malaria is bell-shaped such that the risk was lowest at low and high temperatures. This is also observed in other regions including the highlands region in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper concludes that meteorological conditions have a significant influence on clinical malaria rates. They do this by modifying local mosquito microhabitats and patterns of transmission. A systematic measurement of local temperature through ground stations and integration of such data in the routine health information system could support assessment of malaria transmission risk at the district level of well-targeted control efforts.
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