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Open Access Research

Determining areas that require indoor insecticide spraying using Multi Criteria Evaluation, a decision-support tool for malaria vector control programmes in the Central Highlands of Madagascar

Fanjasoa Rakotomanana1*, Rindra V Randremanana1, Léon P Rabarijaona1, Jean Bernard Duchemin2, Jocelyn Ratovonjato1, Frédéric Ariey3, Jean Paul Rudant4 and Isabelle Jeanne2

Author Affiliations

1 Cellule Système d'Information Géographique, Unité Epidémiologie, BP1274, Tel 261 20 22 412 72 Institut Pasteur, Antananarivo, Madagascar

2 CERMES, BP 10887 Niamey, Niger

3 Institut Pasteur, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

4 Institut Francilien de Géosciences, Université Marne La Vallée, France

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International Journal of Health Geographics 2007, 6:2  doi:10.1186/1476-072X-6-2

Published: 29 January 2007

Abstract

Background

The highlands of Madagascar present an unstable transmission pattern of malaria. The population has no immunity, and the central highlands have been the sites of epidemics with particularly high fatality. The most recent epidemic occurred in the 1980s, and caused about 30,000 deaths. The fight against malaria epidemics in the highlands has been based on indoor insecticide spraying to control malaria vectors. Any preventive programme involving generalised cover in the highlands will require very substantial logistical support. We used multicriteria evaluation, by the method of weighted linear combination, as basis for improved targeting of actions by determining priority zones for intervention.

Results

Image analysis and field validation showed the accuracy of mapping rice fields to be between 82.3% and 100%, and the Kappa coefficient was 0.86 to 0.99.

A significant positive correlation was observed between the abundance of the vector Anopheles funestus and temperature; the correlation coefficient was 0.599 (p < 0.001). A significant negative correlation was observed between vector abundance and human population density: the correlation coefficient was -0.551 (p < 0.003). Factor weights were determined by pair-wise comparison and the consistency ratio was 0.04. Risk maps of the six study zones were obtained according to a gradient of risk. Nine of thirteen results of alert confirmed by the Epidemiological Surveillance Post were in concordance with the risk map.

Conclusion

This study is particularly valuable for the management of vector control programmes, and particularly the reduction of the vector population with a view to preventing disease. The risk map obtained can be used to identify priority zones for the management of resources, and also help avoid systematic and generalised spraying throughout the highlands: such spraying is particularly difficult and expensive.

The accuracy of the mapping, both as concerns time and space, is dependent on the availability of data. Continuous monitoring of malaria transmission factors must be undertaken to detect any changes. A regular case notification allows risk map to be verified. These actions should therefore be implemented so that risk maps can be satisfactorily assessed.