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Modeling the shared risks of malaria and anemia in Rwanda
Authors: Pacifique Karekezi ,Jean Damascene Nzabakiriraho, and Ezra Gayawan
Source: PLOS ONE , Volume 19, issue 4; DOI:
Topic(s): Anemia
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2024
Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria and anemia contribute substantially to the high burden of morbidity and mortality among under-five children. In Rwanda, both diseases have remained public health challenge over the years in spite of the numerous intervention programs and policies put in place. This study aimed at understanding the geographical variations between the joint and specific risks of both diseases in the country while quantifying the effects of some socio-demographic and climatic factors. Using data extracted from Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey, a shared component model was conceived and inference was based on integrated nested Laplace approximation. The study findings revealed similar spatial patterns for the risk of malaria and the shared risks of both diseases, thus confirming the strong link between malaria and anaemia. The spatial patterns revealed that the risks for contracting both diseases are higher among children living in the districts of Rutsiro, Nyabihu, Rusizi, Ruhango, and Gisagara. The risks for both diseases are significantly associated with type of place of residence, sex of household head, ownership of bed net, wealth index and mother’s educational attainment. Temperature and precipitation also have substantial association with both diseases. When developing malaria intervention programs and policies, it is important to take into account climatic and environmental variability in Rwanda. Also, potential intervention initiatives focusing on the lowest wealth index, children of uneducated mothers, and high risky regions need to be reinforced.