Understanding social vulnerability for malaria control and elimination

  • Dierickx, Susan, (PhD Student)
  • Peeters, Koen (Promotor)
  • Hardon, Anita (Promotor)
  • Nguyen, Vinh Kim (Copromotor)

Project Details


The PhD will be carried out in the context of two medical research projects (see annex 1 & annex 2). The first project focuses on ‘Community acceptability and feasibility of community-based scheduled screening and treatment and its integration in the existing community health workers-system: socio-cultural constraints and enabling factors’ in Benin, Burkina Faso and The Gambia. The second researches the ‘Contribution of social and behavioral factors to heterogeneity of malaria transmission’ and will take place in The Gambia. Recently a substantial malaria decrease was observed worldwide, including in several Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries (World Health Organization, 2008). As malaria decreases further, pockets of high transmission remain. The importance of these pockets become increases as countries move towards elimination. In this context the identification of these (sub-)groups becomes increasingly important: not only do these groups still have a higher risk to be infected with malaria, they also constitute a (residual) pool for further malaria transmission (Pindolia et al., 2012). Currently there is a lack of in-depth understanding of the sociocultural and contextual factors that influence the observed heterogeneous distribution of malaria (Bousema 2011 and 2013). This PhD will focus on the of these highly infected sub-populations using a vulnerability framework, allowing a more holistic approach then the classical risk factors for malaria infection. Through a mixed methods study we will provide an anthropological account of the complex interrelations between malaria and social vulnerability in the context of malaria control and elimination.
Effective start/end date22/01/144/10/18

IWETO expertise domain

  • B680-public-health