Addressing challenges in routine health data reporting in Burkina Faso through Bayesian spatiotemporal prediction of weekly clinical malaria incidence.

06 Oct 2020
Rouamba T, Samadoulougou S, Kirakoya-Samadoulougou F

Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries' health systems are often vulnerable to unplanned situations that can hinder their effectiveness in terms of data completeness and disease control. For instance, in Burkina Faso following a workers' strike, comprehensive data on several diseases were unavailable for a long period in 2019. Weather, seasonal-malaria-chemoprevention (SMC), free healthcare, and other contextual data, which are purported to influence malarial disease, provide opportunities to fit models to describe the clinical malaria data and predict the disease spread. Bayesian spatiotemporal modeling was applied to weekly malaria surveillance data from Burkina Faso (2011-2018) while considering the effects of weather, health programs and contextual factors. Then, a prediction was used to deal with weekly missing data for the entire year of 2019, and SMC and free healthcare effects were quantified. Our proposed model accurately predicted weekly clinical malaria incidence (correlation coefficient, r = 0.90). The distribution of clinical malaria incidence was heterogeneous across the country. Overall, national predicted clinical malaria incidence in 2019 (605 per 1000 [95% CrI: 360-990]) increased by 24.7% compared with the year 2015. SMC and the interaction between free healthcare and health facility attendance were associated with a reduction in clinical malaria incidence. Our modeling approach could be a useful tool for strengthening health systems' resilience by addressing data completeness and could support SSA countries in developing appropriate targets and indicators to facilitate the subnational control effort.