Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in Latin America and the Caribbean: modelling the determinants, prevalence, population at risk and costs of control at sub-national level
AbstractWe present an example of a tool for quantifying the burden, the population in need of intervention and resources need to contribute for the control of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection at multiple administrative levels for the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The tool relies on published STH prevalence data along with data on the distribution of several STH transmission determinants for 12,273 sub-national administrative units in 22 LAC countries taken from national censuses. Data on these determinants was aggregated into a single risk index based on a conceptual framework and the statistical significance of the association between this index and the STH prevalence indicators was tested using simple linear regression. The coefficient and constant from the output of this regression was then put into a regression formula that was applied to the risk index values for all of the administrative units in order to model the estimated prevalence of each STH species. We then combine these estimates with population data, treatment thresholds and unit cost data to calculate total control costs. The model predicts an annual cost for the procurement of preventive chemotherapy of around US$ 1.7 million and a total cost of US$ 47 million for implementing a comprehensive STH control programme targeting an estimated 78.7 million school-aged children according to the WHO guidelines throughout the entirety of the countries included in the study. Considerable savings to this cost could potentially be made by embedding STH control interventions within existing health programmes and systems. A study of this scope is prone to many limitations which restrict the interpretation of the results and the uses to which its findings may be put. We discuss several of these limitations.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Josh Colston, Martha Saboyá
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