[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is one of the biggest contributors to deaths caused by infectious disease. More than 30 countries have planned or started programmes to target malaria elimination, often with explicit support from international donors. The spatial distribution of malaria, at all levels of endemicity, is heterogeneous. Moreover, populations living in low-endemic settings where elimination efforts might be targeted are often spatially heterogeneous. Geospatial methods, therefore, can help design, target, monitor, and assess malaria elimination programmes. Rapid advances in technology and analytical methods have allowed the spatial prediction of malaria risk and the development of spatial decision support systems, which can enhance elimination programmes by enabling accurate and timely resource allocation. However, no framework exists for assessment of geospatial instruments. Research is needed to identify measurable indicators of elimination progress and to quantify the effect of geospatial methods in achievement of elimination outcomes.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases 08/2013; 13(8):709-18. · 19.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The public health and socio-economic burden of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) in East Africa is not well documented. Understanding the epidemiology and impact of HAT in such settings is difficult due to a lack of robust surveillance and reporting systems, restricting evidence-based policy development and contributing to the continued neglect of this disease.
To investigate the burden of HAT in Urambo District, Tanzania in order to inform future public health policy.
A rapid participatory appraisal (RPA) using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was conducted, that included key informant interviews, hospital record analysis, and tools adapted from participatory learning and action.
Three villages adjacent to Ugala Game Reserve appeared to be the most affected. High levels of under-reporting were noted due to a lack of diagnostic tools at peripheral health care facilities and limited access to specialist services. Community stakeholders perceived the health and socio-economic burden of HAT to be similar to that of malaria.
The burden of HAT in remote rural communities is difficult to capture through routine surveillance systems alone. The RPA represents an efficient mechanism for engaging communities in public health action for trypanosomiasis control in northwest Tanzania.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria remains a significant health problem in Bangladesh affecting 13 of 64 districts. The risk of malaria is variable across the endemic areas and throughout the year. A better understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns in malaria risk and the determinants driving the variation are crucial for the appropriate targeting of interventions under the National Malaria Control and Prevention Programme.
Numbers of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria cases reported by month in 2007, across the 70 endemic thanas (sub-districts) in Bangladesh, were assembled from health centre surveillance reports. Bayesian Poisson regression models of incidence were constructed, with fixed effects for monthly rainfall, maximum temperature and elevation, and random effects for thanas, with a conditional autoregressive prior spatial structure.
The annual incidence of reported cases was 34.0 and 9.6 cases/10,000 population for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively and the population of the 70 malaria-endemic thanas was approximately 13.5 million in 2007. Incidence of reported cases for both types of malaria was highest in the mountainous south-east of the country (the Chittagong Hill Tracts). Models revealed statistically significant positive associations between the incidence of reported P. vivax and P. falciparum cases and rainfall and maximum temperature.
The risk of P. falciparum and P. vivax was spatially variable across the endemic thanas of Bangladesh and also highly seasonal, suggesting that interventions should be targeted and timed according to the risk profile of the endemic areas. Rainfall, temperature and elevation are major factors driving the spatiotemporal patterns of malaria in Bangladesh.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Successful reduction of malaria transmission to very low levels has made Isabel Province, Solomon Islands, a target for early elimination by 2014. High malaria transmission in neighbouring provinces and the potential for local asymptomatic infections to cause malaria resurgence highlights the need for sub-national tailoring of surveillance interventions. This study contributes to a situational analysis of malaria in Isabel Province to inform an appropriate surveillance intervention.
A mixed method study was carried out in Isabel Province in late 2009 and early 2010. The quantitative component was a population-based prevalence survey of 8,554 people from 129 villages, which were selected using a spatially stratified sampling approach to achieve uniform geographical coverage of populated areas. Diagnosis was initially based on Giemsa-stained blood slides followed by molecular analysis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Local perceptions and practices related to management of fever and treatment-seeking that would impact a surveillance intervention were also explored using qualitative research methods.
Approximately 33% (8,554/26,221) of the population of Isabel Province participated in the survey. Only one subject was found to be infected with Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) (96 parasites/μL) using Giemsa-stained blood films, giving a prevalence of 0.01%. PCR analysis detected a further 13 cases, giving an estimated malaria prevalence of 0.51%. There was a wide geographical distribution of infected subjects. None reported having travelled outside Isabel Province in the previous three months suggesting low-level indigenous malaria transmission. The qualitative findings provide warning signs that the current community vigilance approach to surveillance will not be sufficient to achieve elimination. In addition, fever severity is being used by individuals as an indicator for malaria and a trigger for timely treatment-seeking and case reporting. In light of the finding of a low prevalence of parasitaemia, the current surveillance system may not be able to detect and prevent malaria resurgence.
An adaption to the malERA surveillance framework is proposed and recommendations made for a tailored provincial-level surveillance intervention, which will be essential to achieve elimination, and to maintain this status while the rest of the country catches up.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrated rapid mapping to target interventions for schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and lymphatic filariasis (LF) is ongoing in South Sudan. From May to September 2010, three states - Unity, Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria - were surveyed with the aim of identifying which administrative areas are eligible for mass drug administration (MDA) of preventive chemotherapy (PCT).
Payams (third administrative tier) were surveyed for Schistosoma mansoni, S. haematobium and STH infections while counties (second administrative tier) were surveyed for LF. Overall, 12,742 children from 193 sites were tested for schistosome and STH infection and, at a subset of 50 sites, 3,980 adults were tested for LF. Either S. mansoni or S. haematobium or both species were endemic throughout Unity State and occurred in foci in Central and Eastern Equatoria. STH infection was endemic throughout Central Equatoria and the western counties of Eastern Equatoria, while LF was endemic over most of Central- and Eastern Equatoria, but only in selected foci in Unity. All areas identified as STH endemic were co-endemic for schistosomiasis and/or LF.
The distribution and prevalence of major NTDs, particularly schistosomiasis, varies considerably throughout South Sudan. Rapid mapping is therefore important in identifying (co)-endemic areas. The present survey established that across the three surveyed states between 1.2 and 1.4 million individuals are estimated to be eligible for regular MDA with PCT to treat STH and schistosomiasis, respectively, while approximately 1.3 million individuals residing in Central- and Eastern Equatoria are estimated to require MDA for LF.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e52789. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background malaria-control programs are increasingly dependent on accurate risk maps to effectively guide the allocation of interventions and resources. Advances in model-based geostatistics and geographical information systems (GIS) have enabled researchers to better understand factors affecting malaria transmission and thus, more accurately determine the limits of malaria transmission globally and nationally. Here, we construct Plasmodium falciparum risk maps for Bangladesh for 2007 at a scale enabling the malaria-control bodies to more accurately define the needs of the program. A comprehensive malaria-prevalence survey (N = 9,750 individuals; N = 354 communities) was carried out in 2007 across the regions of Bangladesh known to be endemic for malaria. Data were corrected to a standard age range of 2 to less than 10 years. Bayesian geostatistical logistic regression models with environmental covariates were used to predict P. falciparum prevalence for 2- to 10-year-old children (PfPR(2-10)) across the endemic areas of Bangladesh. The predictions were combined with gridded population data to estimate the number of individuals living in different endemicity classes. Across the endemic areas, the average PfPR(2-10) was 3.8%. Environmental variables selected for prediction were vegetation cover, minimum temperature, and elevation. Model validation statistics revealed that the final Bayesian geostatistical model had good predictive ability. Risk maps generated from the model showed a heterogeneous distribution of PfPR(2-10) ranging from 0.5% to 50%; 3.1 million people were estimated to be living in areas with a PfPR(2-10) greater than 1%. Contemporary GIS and model-based geostatistics can be used to interpolate malaria risk in Bangladesh. Importantly, malaria risk was found to be highly varied across the endemic regions, necessitating the targeting of resources to reduce the burden in these areas.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 10/2010; 83(4):861-7. · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With renewed interest in malaria elimination, island environments present unique opportunities to achieve this goal. However, as transmission decreases, monitoring and evaluation programmes need increasingly sensitive tools to assess Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax exposure. In 2009, to assess the role of serological markers in evaluating malaria transmission, a cross-sectional seroprevalence study was carried out in Tanna and Aneityum, two of the southernmost islands of the Vanuatu archipelago, areas where malaria transmission has been variably reduced over the past few decades.
Malaria transmission was assessed using serological markers for exposure to P. falciparum and P. vivax. Filter blood spot papers were collected from 1,249 people from Tanna, and 517 people from Aneityum to assess the prevalence of antibodies to two P. falciparum antigens (MSP-119 and AMA-1) and two P. vivax antigens (MSP-119 and AMA-1). Age-specific prevalence was modelled using a simple catalytic conversion model based on maximum likelihood to generate a community seroconversion rate (SCR).
Overall seropositivity in Tanna was 9.4%, 12.4% and 16.6% to P. falciparum MSP-119, AMA-1 and Schizont Extract respectively and 12.6% and 15.0% to P. vivax MSP-119 and AMA-1 respectively. Serological results distinguished between areas of differential dominance of either P. vivax or P. falciparum and analysis of age-stratified results showed a step in seroprevalence occurring approximately 30 years ago on both islands, indicative of a change in transmission intensity at this time. Results from Aneityum suggest that several children may have been exposed to malaria since the 2002 P. vivax epidemic.
Seroepidemiology can provide key information on malaria transmission for control programmes, when parasite rates are low. As Vanuatu moves closer to malaria elimination, monitoring changes in transmission intensity and identification of residual malaria foci is paramount in order to concentrate intervention efforts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is a major public health burden in Southeastern Bangladesh, particularly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Malaria is endemic in 13 districts of Bangladesh and the highest prevalence occurs in Khagrachari (15.47%).
A risk map was developed and geographic risk factors identified using a Bayesian approach. The Bayesian geostatistical model was developed from previously identified individual and environmental covariates (p < 0.2; age, different forest types, elevation and economic status) for malaria prevalence using WinBUGS 1.4. Spatial correlation was estimated within a Bayesian framework based on a geostatistical model. The infection status (positives and negatives) was modeled using a Bernoulli distribution. Maps of the posterior distributions of predicted prevalence were developed in geographic information system (GIS).
Predicted high prevalence areas were located along the north-eastern areas, and central part of the study area. Low to moderate prevalence areas were predicted in the southwestern, southeastern and central regions. Individual age and nearness to fragmented forest were associated with malaria prevalence after adjusting the spatial auto-correlation.
A Bayesian analytical approach using multiple enabling technologies (geographic information systems, global positioning systems, and remote sensing) provide a strategy to characterize spatial heterogeneity in malaria risk at a fine scale. Even in the most hyper endemic region of Bangladesh there is substantial spatial heterogeneity in risk. Areas that are predicted to be at high risk, based on the environment but that have not been reached by surveys are identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ministry of Health in the Republic of Vanuatu has implemented a malaria elimination programme in Tafea Province, the most southern and eastern limit of malaria transmission in the South West Pacific. Tafea Province is comprised of five islands with malaria elimination achieved on one of these islands (Aneityum) in 1998. The current study aimed to establish the baseline distribution of malaria on the most malarious of the province's islands, Tanna Island, to guide the implementation of elimination activities.
A parasitological survey was conducted in Tafea Province in 2008. On Tanna Island there were 4,716 participants from 220 villages, geo-referenced using a global position system. Spatial autocorrelation in observed prevalence values was assessed using a semivariogram. Backwards step-wise regression analysis was conducted to determine the inclusion of environmental and climatic variables into a prediction model. The Bayesian geostatistical logistic regression model was used to predict malaria risk, and associated uncertainty across the island.
Overall, prevalence on Tanna was 1.0% for Plasmodium falciparum (accounting for 32% of infections) and 2.2% for Plasmodium vivax (accounting for 68% of infections). Regression analysis showed significant association with elevation and distance to coastline for P. vivax and P. falciparum, but no significant association with NDVI or TIR. Colinearity was observed between elevation and distance to coastline with the later variable included in the final Bayesian geostatistical model for P. vivax and the former included in the final model for P. falciparum. Model validation statistics revealed that the final Bayesian geostatistical model had good predictive ability.
Malaria in Tanna Island, Vanuatu, has a focal and predominantly coastal distribution. As Vanuatu refines its elimination strategy, malaria risk maps represent an invaluable resource in the strategic planning of all levels of malaria interventions for the island.