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Geostatistical modeling of malaria prevalence among under-five children in Rwanda
Authors: Jean Damascene Nzabakiriraho and Ezra Gayawan
Source: BMC Public Health, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-10305-x
Topic(s): Children under five
Spatial analysis
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2021
Abstract: Background: Malaria has continued to be a life-threatening disease among under-five children in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent data indicate rising cases in Rwanda after some years of decline. We aimed at estimating the spatial variations in malaria prevalence at a continuous spatial scale and to quantify locations where the prevalence exceeds the thresholds of 5% and 10% across the country. We also consider the effects of some socioeconomic and climate variables. Methods: Using data from the 2014-2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey, a geostatistical modeling technique based on stochastic partial differential equation approach was used to analyze the geospatial prevalence of malaria among under-five children in Rwanda. Bayesian inference was based on integrated nested Laplace approximation. Results: The results demonstrate the uneven spatial variation of malaria prevalence with some districts including Kayonza and Kirehe from Eastern province; Huye and Nyanza from Southern province; and Nyamasheke and Rusizi from Western province having higher chances of recording prevalence exceeding 5%. Malaria prevalence was found to increase with rising temperature but decreases with increasing volume for rainfall. The findings also revealed a significant association between malaria and demographic factors including place of residence, mother's educational level, and child's age and sex. Conclusions: Potential intervention programs that focus on individuals living in rural areas, lowest wealth quintile, and the locations with high risks should be reinforced. Variations in climatic factors particularly temperature and rainfall should be taken into account when formulating malaria intervention programs in Rwanda.