Group | Malaria Epidemiology and Control

In the Malaria Epidemiology and Control group we focus on generating evidence to support effective malaria control and make best use of limited resources.

Our portfolio includes epidemiological studies to understand the occurrence and determinants of malaria transmission, randomized controlled trials and implementation research to assess the effect of interventions and improve their performance, and large-scale service projects in support of malaria control and elimination efforts. We combine fundamental epidemiological methods (surveys, longitudinal studies, randomized controlled trials) with qualitative approaches, geospatial analyses, molecular epidemiology, population genetics, modeling and health systems research.

We often evaluate interventions implemented at a large scale, as in the real world, health interventions usually work differently than in controlled study settings. We endeavor to understand the factors that influence the effectiveness of interventions in specific health system settings, to contribute to a sustainable and holistic improvement of health programmes.

Our group’s work currently focuses in the areas of vector control strategies, surveillance-response systems, case management and quality of care.

We work in close partnership with academic institutions across the world, NGOs, international organizations, and national malaria control programmes, particularly in Africa and the South Pacific.

On a global level, our group coordinates three important working groups of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Towards Elimination of Malaria in Tanzania

Tanzania has made massive progress in malaria control through innovative approaches rolled-out over the past two decades. To continuously expand and diversify these activities, the TEMT project aims to support cost-effective and evidence-based malaria control efforts at national and decentralized level, enhance multi-sectoral action in malaria control, and develop a knowledge management strategy for malaria control in Tanzania. TEMT builds on the success of its predecessor project NETCELL (Read more about NETCELL) that strengthened the Tanzanian National Malaria Control Programme’s mosquito net campaigns and improved access to timely appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malaria. Read more about TEMT

The GlobMal Project

Through the GlobMal project, Swiss TPH helps to strengthen the RBM Partnership to End Malaria by coordinating three of the Partnership’s working groups (Vector Control WG, Case Management WG, and Multi-sectoral WG). GlobMal also builds essential capacity among upcoming leaders in the field of malaria control through a range of training courses offered to participants from malaria-endemic countries and co-led by experts from around the world. The project is supported by SDC and is currently in its fourth phase. Read more about GlobMal

Malaria Control and Elimination in the South Pacific

Island nations in Melanesia exhibit a diverse malaria epidemiology ranging from high transmission comparable to sub-Saharan Africa in parts of Papua New Guinea to near-elimination situations in Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands. To accelerate progress towards elimination in the region, national malaria control programmes require evidence on appropriate intervention strategies and suitable data systems for targeting interventions. We provide technical and scientific support to the national malaria control programme of Papua New Guinea and conduct operational research and desk-based analyses to inform evidence-based decision-making across the region.  Read more about our malaria research in Papua New Guinea


Surveillance has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a core intervention of malaria control and elimination programmes. An effective surveillance-response system aims to detect and classify cases, prevent outbreaks, and provide data to target interventions. We work with malaria control programmes in Zanzibar and Papua New Guinea to assess the effectiveness of existing surveillance-response systems and validate new and innovative approaches. Watch here how visualizing malaria case numbers may be useful to target malaria control in Papua New Guinea and read more about the RADZEC Project in Zanzibar.

Residual Malaria Transmission

Despite high coverage of existing interventions such as long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy, malaria transmission continues in many places because interventions fail to completely prevent human-mosquito contact. In Papua New Guinea and Tanzania we investigate the drivers of residual malaria transmission with a particular focus on the behaviour of the human host and of the mosquito vector. This way, we aim to identify how traditional and new interventions may be improved to close the existing effectiveness gaps. Read more about our residual transmission project in Papua New Guinea

Severe Malaria

Despite the existence of efficacious medicines, half a million malaria deaths occur every year in children in sub-Saharan Africa. A key challenge is access to appropriate severe malaria treatment from hospitals that are often difficult to reach. In the CARAMAL project, we worked with partners in DR Congo, Nigeria and Uganda to assess the effect of pre-referral rectal artesunate provided at community level to children with severe malaria. The project documented the complexity of severe malaria case management in remote African villages and identified health system shortfalls that prevented rectal artesunate from fulfilling its potential. Read more about the CARAMAL project

Comparative Evaluation of Mosquito Nets

Insecticide-resistant mosquitoes threaten the progress made with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) against malaria. The next generation of nets, combining two insecticides or incorporating a synergist (PBO) with the insecticide, have received WHO approval. In a project funded by the Global Fund’s Net Transitions Initiative and led by LSHTM and Institut Pierre Richet, we assess the efficacy of LLINs treated with PBO-pyrethroid or chlorfenapyr-pyrethroid on malaria in children and on mosquito vector density in Côte d'Ivoire. The study will provide data on the impact of next-generation LLINs on malaria, including the first evidence of PBO-pyrethroid nets in a West African setting.

Holzschuh A et al. Using a mobile nanopore sequencing lab for end-to-end genomic surveillance of Plasmodium falciparum: a feasibility study. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2024;4(2):e0002743. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0002743

Brunner N.C et al. Starting at the community: treatment-seeking pathways of children with suspected severe malaria in Uganda. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2023;3(7):e0001949. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001949

Das A.M et al. Modelling the impact of interventions on imported, introduced and indigenous malaria infections in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Nat Commun. 2023;14:2750. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38379-8

Fakih B.S et al. Risk of imported malaria infections in Zanzibar: a cross-sectional study. Infect Dis Poverty. 2023;12:80. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-023-01129-5

Fekri Jaski S et al. The first case series of malaria overlapped with COVID-19 in Iran. Trends Med Sci. 2023;3(1):e136527. DOI: 10.5812/tms-136527

Golumbeanu M, Edi C.A.V, Hetzel M.W, Koepfli C, Nsanzabana C. Bridging the gap from molecular surveillance to programmatic decisions for malaria control and elimination. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2023(in press). DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.22-0749