Spatio-temporal analysis of small-area intestinal parasites infections in Ghana

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Intestinal parasites infection is a major public health burden in low and middle-income countries. In Ghana, it is amongst the top five morbidities. In order to optimize scarce resources, reliable information on its geographical distribution is needed to guide periodic mass drug administration to populations of high risk. We analyzed district level morbidities of intestinal parasites between 2010 and 2014 using exploratory spatial analysis and geostatistics. We found a significantly positive Moran’s Index of spatial autocorrelation for each year, suggesting that adjoining districts have similar risk levels. Using local Moran’s Index, we found high-high clusters extending towards the Guinea and Sudan Savannah ecological zones, whereas low-low clusters extended within the semi-deciduous forest and transitional ecological zones. Variograms indicated that local and regional scale risk factors modulate the variation of intestinal parasites. Poisson kriging maps showed smoothed spatially varied distribution of intestinal parasites risk. These emphasize the need for a follow-up investigation into the exact determining factors modulating the observed patterns. The findings also underscored the potential of exploratory spatial analysis and geostatistics as tools for visualizing the spatial distribution of small area intestinal worms infections.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12217
Number of pages11
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017




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