The Role of Age, Ethnicity and Environmental Factors in Modulating Malaria Risk in Rajasthali, Bangladesh

Malaria JournalMalaria Journal, 2011, Volume 10, Number 1

Ubydul Haque, Ricardo J Soares Magalhães, Dipak Mitra, Korine N Kolivras, Wolf-Peter Schmidt, Rashidul Haque, and Gregory E Glass

“Background: Malaria is endemic in the Rajasthali region of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh and the Rajasthali region is the most endemic area of Bangladesh. Quantifying the role of environmental and socio-economic factors in the local spatial patterns of malaria endemicity can contribute to successful malaria control and elimination. This study aimed to investigate the role of environmental factors on malaria risk in Rajasthali and to quantify the geographical clustering in malaria risk unaccounted by these factors.

“Method: A total of 4,200 (78.9%; N = 5,322) households were targeted in Rajasthali in July, 2009, and 1,400 individuals were screened using a rapid diagnostic test (Falci-vax). These data were linked to environmental and socio-economic data in a geographical information system. To describe the association between environmental factors and malaria risk, a generalized linear mixed model approach was utilized. The study investigated the role of environmental factors on malaria risk by calculating their population-attributable fractions (PAF), and used residual semivariograms to quantify the geographical clustering in malaria risk unaccounted by these factors.

“Results: Overall malaria prevalence was 11.7%. Out of 5,322 households, 44.12% households were living in areas with malaria prevalence of ≥ 10%. The results from statistical analysis showed that age, ethnicity, proximity to forest, household density, and elevation were significantly and positively correlated with the malaria risk and PAF estimation. The highest PAF of malaria prevalence was 47.7% for third tertile (n = 467) of forest cover, 17.6% for second tertile (n = 467) of forest cover and 19.9% for household density >1,000.

“Conclusion: Targeting of malaria health interventions at small spatial scales in Bangladesh should consider the social and socio-economic risk factors identified as well as alternative methods for improving equity of access to interventions across whole communities.”

Playful Public Participation in Urban Planning: A Case Study for Online Serious Games

Computers, Environment and Urban SystemsComputers, Environment and Urban Systems, Volume 36, Issue 3, May 2012, Pages 195–206

Alenka Poplin

“Highlights:

  • We present the concept of play and games in urban planning.
  • The study case concentrates on the design of an online serious game.
  • The implemented game was tested with the help of students and external experts.
  • We summarize the positive and critical aspects of the implemented game.

“The aim of this paper is to study the implementation of online games to encourage public participation in urban planning. Its theoretical foundations are based on previous work in public participatory geographical information systems (PP GISs), play and games, with a special focus on serious games. Serious games aim to support learning processes in a new, more playful way. We developed the concept of playful public participation in urban planning, including playful elements such as storytelling, walking and moving, sketching, drawing, and games. A group of students designed an online serious public participatory game entitled NextCampus. The case study used in NextCampus was taken from the real-world question of a possible move of a university campus to a new location in the city of Hamburg, Germany. The development of the serious public participatory game NextCampus resulted in a physical prototype, user interface design, and a computational model of the game. The NextCampus game was tested with the help of two groups of urban planning students and presented to three external experts who provided valuable recommendations for further development. The critical comments questioned the level of complexity involved in such games. The positive comments included recognition of the potential for joy and the playfulness a game like NextCampus could evoke.”