Citizen science approach
The Malaria Vector Control Programme in Rwanda provides a systematic report on the distribution, the diversity and the infectivity rate of malaria vectors from the twelve sentinel sites located across the country. However, mosquito-monitoring programmes are not undertaken in all of the remotes regions of the country. With a target of reducing malaria mortality by 2020, implementation of mosquito monitoring in those regions is needed.
Citizen science projects in developed countries have shown its potential in monitoring vector-borne disease carrying mosquitoes. Citizens, through their shared observations, can play a role in the collection of mosquito data required for the control of invasive mosquito species. Hence, these citizen science projects have been seen as an opportunity for the malaria vector monitoring and surveillance in general. The goal of the Umubu Radar project is to complement existing mosquito surveillance methods and interventions currently in place by providing the spatio-temporal distribution of mosquito nuisance through the web-based platform as a proxy to elucidate the mosquito abundance with a focus on malaria vectors in the remote regions where mosquito monitoring programmes ae inexistent.
The Umubu Radar platform will provide insight into the ecology of malaria vectors and thereby will help to better understand malaria transmission patterns in Rwanda. Throughout reporting of these observations, the outcome will provide with a better understanding of the ecology of the malaria vector species and their transmission patterns in the remote region where mosquito monitoring programmes are inexistent currently. By providing with such information, it will help the National Malaria Control Programme to take proper actions. In addition, the citizens may improve their understanding of malaria vectors, and may enhance consistent use of malaria preventive measures.
The Umubu Radar in Rwanda is coordinated by the College of Science and Technology, Department of Biology- University of Rwanda