Information and Interface Design

Malaria By Numbers

Malaria remains one of the world’s most deadliest diseases, killing approximately 600,000 people every year and exacting a heavy economic cost. Most of these cases are in Sub-saharan Africa. There have been marked improvements in malaria treatment outcomes in some countries. For example, in Zambia the scaling up of malaria prevention strategies and vector control has dramatically reduced the burden of malaria. By 2008, the rates of in-patient malaria cases and deaths decreased by 61% and 66% respectively, compared with the period before which the efforts were intensified.

Calum Pether decided to design an interactive infographic to communicate some basic facts about malaria and how it spreads. He started by sketching out a rough plan and layout for the screen

and then worked out the various perspectives on the data he wanted to communicate. These started with a look at what malaria is and how it is distributed around the world.

and continued with visualisation of the effect of malarial medicines and the dramatic effect they have had over the past ten years on malaria contraction and death rates.

Finally, Calum looked at the economic cost of malaria to families and communities who may not be able to afford medicines. This economic cost has been shown to scale up to country level with national economies suffering from low growth rates the more cases of malaria they have.

Finally this image of the anopheles mosquito worked as a legend for relevant data around the breeding habits and lifespan of the disease carrying insect.

Overall, a well designed classic infographic approach. The page layouts and typographic treatments are well organised. Principles of proximity, contrast, alignment and hierarchy are correctly applied and the visual flows well from the top of the page.