Assessment and Management of Human African Trypanosomiasis Propagation using Geospatial Techniques

Akiode Olukemi Adejoke, Oduyemi Kehinde O K


Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a chronic and acute vector-borne disease. The propagation of the disease has been linked to environmental factors, and understanding the vector’s habitat is vital to its control. The available medications for HAT are dated, lethal and expensive, but biological control of the vector has been successful in some endemic foci. Nevertheless, recently the disease has re-emerged and spread and its management remains demanding. To manage and control the disease effectively, precise, up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge of its spatial characteristics is essential. This study is based in HAT endemic foci of Delta State, Nigeria. The study applied a geospatially developed HAT vector habitat classification scheme to assess the vulnerability level of settlements affected by HAT.  In addition, factors influencing HAT propagation and land cover suitability for HAT Vector within HAT vector Habitat Zones were investigated and assessed in a geographic information system environment.  The aim was to present HAT endemic countries with strategy for mapping and deriving precise, timely and life saving data/information from HAT vector habitat.  The study emphasizes the importance of geospatial techniques where there are dearths of epidemiological data, for improving perceptive of HAT.  The study findings suggested propagation of HAT resulted from suitability of water bodies, shrub and less-dense forest for the HAT vector, and continued exposure of human populations to these land cover classes. Overlapping of HAT vector habitat zones within built-up areas was also a cause. This novel approach can also be used in other part of Nigeria as well as adapted to investigate other diseases.

Keywords:  Trypanosomiasis, Geospatial, Propagation, Epidemiological, HAT

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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