Because malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, environmental conditions such as temperature, rainfall and land use affect the transmission potential of malaria. RAI-funded research developed an environmental surveillance database and interactive platform to enable improved targeting of active surveillance and interventions to high-risk areas. The study showed how heterogeneous malaria dynamics are at the local level and that areas with agricultural use near abundant forest were at particularly high risk of transmission.
Operational research funded by RAI has investigated mass screening of forest-goers, and found that while the forest-goers had a high prevalence of malaria, as measured by PCR test, the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) was not sensitive enough to pick up the infections, which were mostly asymptomatic. RDTs may therefore not be a good tool in the mass screening of asymptomatic people.