Co-endemicity of Cysticercosis and Schistosomiasis in Africa - how many people are at risk?

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This study investigates the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa living in areas where two neglected tropical diseases, cysticercosis and schistosomiasis, are co-endemic. The World Health Organisation is aiming for elimination of schistosomiasis by 2020 through mass drug administration (MDA). However, the drug used for this, praziquantel, has been reported to cause dramatic side effects among people suffering from neurocysticercosis. Both diseases are presumed to be widely distributed on the continent, but the co-endemicity is unclear. We carried out a meta-analysis of the literature of T. solium taeniosis/cysticercosis in humans and porcine cysticercosis in pigs. Only epidemiological/clinical studies were included, qualitative questionnaire based surveys were discarded. Cysticercosis presence was georeferenced with an online gazetteer using information on place names in the published literature. We found 110 reports of cysticercosis in Africa from 1970 to 2012. A total of 597 districts (admin level 4 or equivalent) in 29 countries were identified. According to the data published by WHO on the estimated burden of schistosomiasis, the 29 countries where cysticercosis was found, were considered, on national scale, to be co-endemic with schistosomiasis. The co-endemicity dataset was then combined with modelled data on population density for 2015 derived from the WorldPop database. We used the open source GIS software QGIS and GRASS to overlay the two datasets and identified the number of people living in co-endemic districts. Almost 150 million people live in the co-endemic areas. Of these, almost 44 million live in high prevalence areas for schistosomiasis where WHO recommend MDA for the entire population. In co-endemic areas resources need to be allocated for evaluating the extent of adverse effects caused by mass drug administration in areas where people suffer from neurocysticercosis. One Health control strategies should be implemented, monitored and evaluated to enhance disease control with a long-term goal of elimination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date31 Oct 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014
Event8th International Symposium on Geospatial Health - Louisiana, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 30 Oct 20141 Nov 2014

Conference

Conference8th International Symposium on Geospatial Health
CountryUnited States
CityLouisiana, New Orleans
Period30/10/201401/11/2014

ID: 132289412