Parasitology

SECTION 1 ADVOCACY AND DEFINING AREAS IN NEED OF CONTROL

Rapid mapping of schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases in the context of integrated control programmes in Africa

S. BROOKERa1a2 c1, N. B. KABATEREINEa3, J. O. GYAPONGa4, J. R. STOTHARDa5 and J. UTZINGERa6

a1 Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom

a2 Malaria Public Health and Epidemiology Group, KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme, P.O. Box 43640 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya

a3 National Schistosomiasis and Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Control Programme, Vector Control Division, Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 1661, Kampala, Uganda

a4 Health Research Unit, Ghana Health Service, P.O. Box MB-190, Accra, Ghana

a5 Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom

a6 Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, P.O. Box, CH–4002 Basel, Switzerland

SUMMARY

There is growing interest and commitment to the control of schistosomiasis and other so-called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Resources for control are inevitably limited, necessitating assessment methods that can rapidly and accurately identify and map high-risk communities so that interventions can be targeted in a spatially-explicit and cost-effective manner. Here, we review progress made with (1) mapping schistosomiasis across Africa using available epidemiological data and, more recently, climate-based risk prediction; (2) the development and use of morbidity questionnaires for rapid identification of high-risk communities of urinary schistosomiasis; and (3) innovative sampling-based approaches for intestinal schistosomiasis, using the lot quality assurance sampling technique. Experiences are also presented for the rapid mapping of other NTDs, including onchocerciasis, loiasis and lymphatic filariasis. Future directions for an integrated rapid mapping approach targeting multiple NTDs simultaneously are outlined, including potential challenges in developing an integrated survey tool. The lessons from the mapping of human helminth infections may also be relevant for the rapid mapping of malaria as its control efforts are intensified.

(Received November 26 2008)

(Revised February 03 2009)

(Accepted February 03 2009)

(Online publication May 19 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Simon Brooker, Malaria Public Health and Epidemiology Group, Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme, P.O. Box 43640 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. E-mail: simon.brooker@lshtm.ac.uk

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