History of LINK

Malaria maps

LINK is the newest programme in a line of mapping malaria distribution initiatives.

These initiatives began in 1996 with Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa (MARA), the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) in 2005 and Information for Malaria (INFORM) in 2010. INFORM created a pilot project, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in 2013-4 to support countries to strategically target resources for malaria programmes in Africa. They developed eight epidemiological profiles which collated data to provide a reliable understanding of the temporal and spatial determinants of parasite transmission, the coverage of interventions, seasonal patterns of malaria and the dominant vectors implicated in transmission.

In order to continue the data collation efforts of INFORM and to add an element of improving the use of the data in National Malaria Programmes, LINK  was formed in 2015 as a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the INFORM-KEMRI/Wellcome Trust, and the National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) of 13 African nations, seven of which were included in the first phase to use data to inform malaria knowledge and decision-making. LINK works more directly with countries under the leadership of WHO-AFRO in evolving the data assembly, capacity building and use of malaria epidemiological profiles and risk mapping to support malaria strategic planning and financing.

The LINK programme is supported by DFID and is led by Dr Caroline Lynch at the School, in partnership with Professor Bob Snow at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust.