Kenya – Refuse dumps and cholera infection in Kumasi
Spatial dependency of V. cholera prevalence on open space refuse dumps in Kumasi, Ghana: a spatial statistical modelling. Author: Frank B Osei and Alfred A Duker. International Journal of Health Geographics 2008, 7:62.
Cholera has persisted in Ghana since its introduction in the early 70’s. From 1999 to 2005, the Ghana Ministry of Health officially reported a total of 26,924 cases and 620 deaths to the WHO.
Etiological studies suggest that the natural habitat of V. cholera is the aquatic environment.
Its ability to survive within and outside the aquatic environment makes cholera a complex health problem to manage. Once the disease is introduced in a population, several environmental factors may lead to prolonged transmission and secondary cases.
An important environmental factor that predisposes individuals to cholera infection is sanitation. In this study, we exploit the importance of two main spatial measures of sanitation in cholera transmission in an urban city, Kumasi.
These are proximity and density of refuse dumps within a community.
Results: A spatial statistical modelling carried out to determine the spatial dependency of cholera prevalence on refuse dumps show that, there is a direct spatial relationship between cholera prevalence and density of refuse dumps, and an inverse spatial relationship between cholera prevalence and distance to refuse dumps. A spatial scan statistics also identified four significant spatial clusters of cholera; a primary cluster with greater than expected cholera prevalence, and three secondary clusters with lower than expected cholera prevalence.
A GIS based buffer analysis and a quantitative assessment of distance discrimination of the buffer zones around refuse dumps show that the optimum spatial discrimination of cholera occurs at 500m from refuse dumps. This indicates that the minimum distance within which refuse dumps should not be sited within community centres is 500m.
Conclusion: The results suggest that proximity and density of open space refuse dumps play a contributory role in cholera infection in Kumasi.