|Small-area spatial statistical analysis of malaria clusters and hotspots in Cameroon;2000–2015|
||Tewara MA, Mbah-Fongkimeh PN, Dayimu A, Kang F, and Xue F
||BMC Infectious Diseases , 18(1): 636; DOI: 10.1186/s12879-018-3534-6
Malaria prevalence in Cameroon is a major public health problem both at the regional and urban-rural geographic scale. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million confirmed cases, and 18,738 cases were reported in health facilities and communities respectively, with about 8000 estimated deaths. Several studies have estimated malaria prevalence in Cameroon using the analytical techniques at the regional scale. We aimed at identifying malaria clusters and hotspots at the urban-rural geographic scale from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for households between 2000 and 2015 using ArcGIS for intervention programs.
To identify malaria hotspots and analyze the pattern of distribution, we used the optimized hotspots toolset and spatial autocorrelation respectively in ArcGIS 10.3 for desktop. We also used Pearson's Correlation analysis to identify associative environmental factors using the R-software 3.4.1.
The spatial distribution of malaria showed statistically significant clustered pattern for the year 2000 and 2015 with Moran's indexes 0.126 (P?0.001) and 0.187 (P?0.001) respectively. Meanwhile, the years 2005 and 2010 with Moran's indexes 0.001 (P?=?0.488) and 0.002 (P?=?0.318) respectively, had a random malaria distribution pattern. There exist varying degrees of malaria clusters and statistically significant hotspots in the urban-rural areas of the 12 administrative regions. Malaria cases were associated with population density and some environmental covariates; rainfall, enhanced vegetation index and composite lights (P?0.001).
This study identified urban-rural areas with high and low malaria clusters and hotspots. Our maps can be used as supportive tools for effective malaria control and elimination, and investments in malaria programs and research, malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, surveillance, should pay more attention to urban-rural geographic scale.
Clusters; Epidemiology; Hotspots; Malaria; Mapping; Spatial statistics; Urban-rural