Award for project using drones to eliminate malaria

An Award for Exceptional Impact in Science Research was presented to Dr Andy Hardy from Aberystwyth University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences for a project which is using drones to help eliminate malaria.

Aberystwyth University reports Dr Andy Hardy, a lecturer in Remote Sensing and GPS, is leading a project in Zanzibar using drones to map water bodies such as rivers, swamps and rice paddies where malaria carrying mosquitoes breed and lay eggs. The images from the drone are uploaded to a smartphone app enabling members of the local community to precisely identify where to put low level toxicity larvicide and kill mosquito larvae at source.

Andy Hardy said “This is a community-led intervention aimed at reducing the population of malarial carrying mosquitoes and thereby reducing malaria infection across the island, contributing to Zanzibar’s efforts to eliminate the disease once and for all. The hope is we can take this methodology and apply it across sub-Saharan Africa to have a real impact on malaria, which is one of the world’s biggest killers.”

The project is funded by the Innovative Vector control consortium, a not for profit company supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Aid and other organisations.

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