Background: Malaria control programs require a detailed understanding of the contemporary spatial distribution of infection risk to efficiently allocate resources. We used model based geostatistics (MBG) techniques to generate a contemporary map of Plasmodium falciparum malaria risk in Indonesia in 2010.
Methods: Plasmodium falciparum Annual Parasite Incidence (PfAPI) data (2006-2008) were used to map limits of P. falciparum transmission. A total of 2,581 community blood surveys of P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) were identified (1985-2009). After quality control, 2,516 were included into a national database of age-standardized 2-10 year old PfPR data (PfPR(2-10)) for endemicity mapping. A Bayesian MBG procedure was used to create a predicted surface of PfPR(2-10) endemicity with uncertainty estimates. Population at risk estimates were derived with reference to a 2010 human population count surface.
Results: We estimate 132.8 million people in Indonesia, lived at risk of P. falciparum transmission in 2010. Of these, 70.3% inhabited areas of unstable transmission and 29.7% in stable transmission. Among those exposed to stable risk, the vast majority were at low risk (93.39%) with the reminder at intermediate (6.6%) and high risk (0.01%). More people in western Indonesia lived in unstable rather than stable transmission zones. In contrast, fewer people in eastern Indonesia lived in unstable versus stable transmission areas.
Conclusion: While further feasibility assessments will be required, the immediate prospects for sustained control are good across much of the archipelago and medium term plans to transition to the pre-elimination phase are not unrealistic for P. falciparum. Endemicity in areas of Papua will clearly present the greatest challenge. This P. falciparum endemicity map allows malaria control agencies and their partners to comprehensively assess the region-specific prospects for reaching pre-elimination, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of future strategies against this 2010 baseline and ultimately improve their evidence-based malaria control strategies.