Identifying cholera "hotspots" in Uganda: An analysis of cholera surveillance data from 2011 to 2016.

Article English OPEN
Godfrey Bwire ; Mohammad Ali ; David A Sack ; Anne Nakinsige ; Martha Naigaga ; Amanda K Debes ; Moise C Ngwa ; W Abdullah Brooks ; Christopher Garimoi Orach (2017)
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  • Journal: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, volume 11, issue 12 (issn: 1935-2727, eissn: 1935-2735)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006118, pmc: PMC5746206
  • Subject: Bodies of Water | Research Article | Earth Sciences | Freshwater Environments | Infectious Diseases | Ecology and Environmental Sciences | Geographical Locations | Environmental Health | Kenya | Sanitation | Marine and Aquatic Sciences | Neglected Tropical Diseases | People and Places | Public and Occupational Health | Geography | Hygiene | Lakes | Aquatic Environments | Cholera | Health Care | Rivers | Africa | Tropical Diseases | Urban Areas | Bacterial Diseases | RC955-962 | RA1-1270 | Public aspects of medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Uganda | Arctic medicine. Tropical medicine | Geographic Areas
    mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases

Background Despite advance in science and technology for prevention, detection and treatment of cholera, this infectious disease remains a major public health problem in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda inclusive. The aim of this study was to identify cholera hotspots in Uganda to guide the development of a roadmap for prevention, control and elimination of cholera in the country. Methodology/Principle findings We obtained district level confirmed cholera outbreak data from 2011 to 2016 from the Ministry of Health, Uganda. Population and rainfall data were obtained from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, and water, sanitation and hygiene data from the Ministry of Water and Environment. A spatial scan test was performed to identify the significantly high risk clusters. Cholera hotspots were defined as districts whose center fell within a significantly high risk cluster or where a significantly high risk cluster was completely superimposed onto a district. A zero-inflated negative binomial regression model was employed to identify the district level risk factors for cholera. In total 11,030 cases of cholera were reported during the 6-year period. 37(33%) of 112 districts reported cholera outbreaks in one of the six years, and 20 (18%) districts experienced cholera at least twice in those years. We identified 22 districts as high risk for cholera, of which 13 were near a border of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while 9 districts were near a border of Kenya. The relative risk of having cholera inside the high-risk districts (hotspots) were 2 to 22 times higher than elsewhere in the country. In total, 7 million people were within cholera hotspots. The negative binomial component of the ZINB model shows people living near a lake or the Nile river were at increased risk for cholera (incidence rate ratio, IRR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97 to 0.99, p < .01); people living near the border of DRC/Kenya or higher incidence rate in the neighboring districts were increased risk for cholera in a district (IRR = 0.99, 95% CI: 0.98 to 1.00, p = .02 and IRR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.03, p < .01, respectively). The zero inflated component of the ZINB model yielded shorter distance to Kenya or DRC border, higher incidence rate in the neighboring districts, and higher annual rainfall in the district were associated with the risk of having cholera in the district. Conclusions/significance The study identified cholera hotspots during the period 2011–2016. The people located near the international borders, internationally shared lakes and river Nile were at higher risk for cholera outbreaks than elsewhere in the country. Targeting cholera interventions to these locations could prevent and ultimately eliminate cholera in Uganda.
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