ENACTS Maproom provides climate services for malaria surveillance in Tanzania

19 July 2017

In response to the increasing impacts of climate change on health the Government of Tanzania and its partners have developed a number of innovative climate service projects. One such example is the Enhancing National Climate Services Initiative (ENACTS), a unique, multi-faceted initiative, led by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, designed to bring climate knowledge to national decision makers across Africa by improving availability, access to, and use of climate information.

Working alongside the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), World Health Organisation, the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) Programme, Ministry of Health and other agencies, the ENACTS initiative has been implemented in Tanzania and is now used for a range of decision-making processes.

A key component of this initiative is the TMA Maproom, a climate information system that brings together information on climate and health in a user-friendly online platform. The Maproom is an open-access online resource that merges local meteorological observations with global satellite imaging data to create high resolution climate information products, such as malaria suitability maps. By blending rigorously evaluated local observations with the best global climate products, ENACTS data provides national coverage with great accuracy.

As a result of the ENACTS initiative, availability, access and use of climate information has been greatly improved in Tanzania. For example, the National Malaria Control Programme uses the TMA Maproom to plan where and when health supplies should be distributed. The TMA Malaria Maproom aids in the forecasting of malaria epidemics by using specific ranges of temperature, precipitation, and humidity levels as indicators for the possible increased risk of malaria transmission. The Malaria Maproom shows the number of months with suitable climatic conditions for malaria transmission based on historical climate records and then allows decision makers to compare current climatic conditions to climatic conditions during past outbreaks.

The ENACTS initiative has introduced an exciting, innovative, and easy-to-use climate service that will be used for better public health planning and will improve the efficiency, effectiveness, equity and economy of climate-sensitive health responses in Tanzania and beyond.

Agnes Kijazi, Director of the Tanzanian Meteorological Agency (TMA), speaks about ENACTS and the TMA Maproom.