Modelling malaria risk in East Africa at high-spatial resolution.
ABSTRACT Malaria risk maps have re-emerged as an important tool for appropriately targeting the limited resources available for malaria control. In Sub-Saharan Africa empirically derived maps using standardized criteria are few and this paper considers the development of a model of malaria risk for East Africa.
Statistical techniques were applied to high spatial resolution remotely sensed, human settlement and land-use data to predict the intensity of malaria transmission as defined according to the childhood parasite ratio (PR) in East Africa. Discriminant analysis was used to train environmental and human settlement predictor variables to distinguish between four classes of PR risk shown to relate to disease outcomes in the region.
Independent empirical estimates of the PR were identified from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (n = 330). Surrogate markers of climate recorded on-board earth orbiting satellites, population settlement, elevation and water bodies all contributed significantly to the predictive models of malaria transmission intensity in the sub-region. The accuracy of the model was increased by stratifying East Africa into two ecological zones. In addition, the inclusion of urbanization as a predictor of malaria prevalence, whilst reducing formal accuracy statistics, nevertheless improved the consistency of the predictive map with expert opinion malaria maps. The overall accuracy achieved with ecological zone and urban stratification was 62% with surrogates of precipitation and temperature being among the most discriminating predictors of the PR.
It is possible to achieve a high degree of predictive accuracy for Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence in East Africa using high-spatial resolution environmental data. However, discrepancies were evident from mapped outputs from the models which were largely due to poor coverage of malaria training data and the comparable spatial resolution of predictor data. These deficiencies will only be addressed by more random, intensive small areas studies of empirical estimates of PR.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Outbreaks of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) impose a heavy burden on vulnerable populations. Despite recent progress in eradication and control, malaria remains the most prevalent VBD. Integrative approaches that take into account environmental, socioeconomic, demographic, biological, cultural, and political factors contributing to malaria risk and vulnerability are needed to effectively reduce malaria burden. Although the focus on malaria risk has increasingly gained ground, little emphasis has been given to develop quantitative methods for assessing malaria risk including malaria vulnerability in a spatial explicit manner. METHODS: Building on a conceptual risk and vulnerability framework, we propose a spatial explicit approach for modeling relative levels of malaria risk - as a function of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability - in the United Republic of Tanzania. A logistic regression model was employed to identify a final set of risk factors and their contribution to malaria endemicity based on multidisciplinary geospatial information. We utilized a Geographic Information System for the construction and visualization of a malaria vulnerability index and its integration into a spatially explicit malaria risk map. RESULTS: The spatial pattern of malaria risk was very heterogeneous across the country. Malaria risk was higher in Mainland areas than in Zanzibar, which is a result of differences in both malaria entomological inoculation rate and prevailing vulnerabilities. Areas of high malaria risk were identified in the southeastern part of the country, as well as in two distinct "hotspots" in the northwestern part of the country bordering Lake Victoria, while concentrations of high malaria vulnerability seem to occur in the northwestern, western, and southeastern parts of the mainland. Results were visualized using both 10x10 km2 grids and subnational administrative units. CONCLUSIONS: The presented approach makes an important contribution toward a decision support tool. By decomposing malaria risk into its components, the approach offers evidence on which factors could be targeted for reducing malaria risk and vulnerability to the disease. Ultimately, results offer relevant information for place-based intervention planning and more effective spatial allocation of resources.Population Health Metrics 02/2015; 13:2. DOI:10.1186/s12963-015-0036-2 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Robust malaria vector surveillance is essential for optimally selecting and targeting vector control measures. Sixty-two vector surveillance sites were established between 2005 and 2008 by the national malaria surveillance program in China to measure Anopheles sinensis human biting rates. Using these data to determine the primary ecological drivers of malaria vector human biting rates in malaria epidemic-prone regions of China will allow better targeting of vector control resources in space and time as the country aims to eliminate malaria. We analyzed data from 62 malaria surveillance sentinel sites from 2005 to 2008. Linear mixed effects models were used to identify the primary ecological drivers for Anopheles sinensis human biting rates as well as to explore the spatial-temporal variation of relevant factors at surveillance sites throughout China. Minimum semimonthly temperature (β = 2.99; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.07- 3.92), enhanced vegetation index (β =1.07; 95% CI 0.11-2.03), and paddy index (the percentage of rice paddy field in the total cultivated land area of each site) (β = 0.86; 95% CI 0.17-1.56) were associated with greater An. Sinensis human biting rates, while increasing distance to the nearest river was associated with lower An. Sinensis human biting rates (β = -1.47; 95% CI -2.88, -0.06). The temporal variation ([Formula: see text]) in biting rates was much larger than the spatial variation ([Formula: see text]), with 19.3% of temporal variation attributable to differences in minimum temperature and enhanced vegetation index and 16.9% of spatial variance due to distance to the nearest river and the paddy index. Substantial spatial-temporal variation in An. Sinensis human biting rates exists in malaria epidemic-prone regions of China, with minimum temperature and enhanced vegetation index accounting for the greatest proportion of temporal variation and distance to nearest river and paddy index accounting for the greatest proportion of spatial variation amongst observed ecological drivers. Targeted vector control measures based on these findings can support the ongoing malaria elimination efforts in China more effectively.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0116932. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116932 · 3.53 Impact Factor