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Spatiotemporal mapping of malaria prevalence in Madagascar using routine surveillance and health survey data
Authors: Rohan Arambepola, Suzanne H. Keddie, Emma L. Collins, Katherine A. Twohig, Punam Amratia, Amelia Bertozzi-Villa, Elisabeth G. Chestnutt, Joseph Harris, Justin Millar, Jennifer Rozier, Susan F. Rumisha, Tasmin L. Symons, Camilo Vargas-Ruiz, Mauricette Andriamananjara, Saraha Rabeherisoa, Arsène C. Ratsimbasoa, Rosalind E. Howes, Daniel J. Weiss, Peter W. Gething, and Ewan Cameron
Source: Scientific Reports, 10, Article number: 18129
Topic(s): GIS/GPS
Spatial analysis
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2020
Abstract: Malaria transmission in Madagascar is highly heterogeneous, exhibiting spatial, seasonal and long-term trends. Previous efforts to map malaria risk in Madagascar used prevalence data from Malaria Indicator Surveys. These cross-sectional surveys, conducted during the high transmission season most recently in 2013 and 2016, provide nationally representative prevalence data but cover relatively short time frames. Conversely, monthly case data are collected at health facilities but suffer from biases, including incomplete reporting and low rates of treatment seeking. We combined survey and case data to make monthly maps of prevalence between 2013 and 2016. Health facility catchment populations were estimated to produce incidence rates from the case data. Smoothed incidence surfaces, environmental and socioeconomic covariates, and survey data informed a Bayesian prevalence model, in which a flexible incidence-to-prevalence relationship was learned. Modelled spatial trends were consistent over time, with highest prevalence in the coastal regions and low prevalence in the highlands and desert south. Prevalence was lowest in 2014 and peaked in 2015 and seasonality was widely observed, including in some lower transmission regions. These trends highlight the utility of monthly prevalence estimates over the four year period. By combining survey and case data using this two-step modelling approach, we were able to take advantage of the relative strengths of each metric while accounting for potential bias in the case data. Similar modelling approaches combining large datasets of different malaria metrics may be applicable across sub-Saharan Africa.