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New Malaria Risk Maps and Data and other Health GIS News

Wednesday, January 25th 2012
By Adena Schutzberg

In a study published in the Malaria Journal, a multinational team of researchers from the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP), funded mainly by the Wellcome Trust, present the results of a two-year effort to assemble all available data worldwide on the risk of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the most deadly form of the disease. Using computer modelling and data on climate and human populations, they have revealed the complex landscape of malaria across the globe. The maps build on the first ever Atlas of Malaria-Eliminating Countries published earlier this year.

Malaria continues to exert an huge burden of illness and death worldwide but, after decades of neglect, the war against the disease has entered an unprecedented era: it is high on the policy agenda, international funding is beginning to translate into real increases in populations protected by bed nets and other key interventions, and a growing body of evidence points towards important reductions in illness and death.

The maps have been made freely available, along with a wide range of other malaria resources via the launch of a new online portal at www.map.ox.ac.uk. The research was led by Dr Pete Gething from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. He says: "These new maps and our online portal are really aimed at everyone involved in the battle against the disease: from the major international organisations and funders, to other scientists, to those actually doing the disease control work on the ground."

- press release

PulsePoint, the mobile app that notifies those who are registered and CPR certified when help is needed is moving on from its home in San Ramon, CA to San Jose. 150 other agencies are interested. No word yet on if it's saved any lives yet.

- CIO

On Tuesday Massachusetts announced plans to shut down one of the state mental health hosptials in Taunton. The Massachussets Nurses Association quickly put out a press release calling it a travestry, in part, because of geography.

"Their plan makes no sense," Coughlin said. "Our system has been operating well over full capacity for years. We can't provide the care people need even with our facility open.  The other issue is geography.  We are now forcing patients and families to travel to Worcester, Tewksbury or out to Western Mass for their mental health care. It's a travesty."   

- press release

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