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Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen (2013)

Geographic Determinants of Human Schistosomiasis Transmission in the Sourou Valley, Burkina Faso

Traore, Issouf

Titre : Geographic Determinants of Human Schistosomiasis Transmission in the Sourou Valley, Burkina Faso

Auteur : Traore, Issouf

Université de soutenance : Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen

Grade : Doktorgrade 2013

Résumé partiel
Schistosomiasis (also known as Bilharzia or Bilharziasis) is the second most prevalent neglected tropical disease (NTD) after hookworm and is caused by infection with blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. More than 85% of the estimated 779 million people at risk worldwide are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Of the 207 million infested persons worldwide, more than 97% are concentrated in SSA. The geographic study of human schistosomiasis comes within the framework of geography of health with the target of putting into perspective the natural and social determinants of the states of health within an area of interest. The complexity and multiplicity of factors contributing to the endemicity of human schistosomiasis suggests that patterns are readily predicted at regional and national scales and that more complex models are required to predict patterns at local scales. This local fine scale approach was adopted in this research to assess schistosomiasis-susceptibility at the community level by integrating natural and social geographic determinants in Burkina Faso in general and the Sourou Valley in particular. Therefore, the present study, in its conception, aimed to collect useful background information for analysing human schistosomiasis ecology and diffusion as well as the access to health care services and associated infrastructures at the community level. This study tried to provide answers to three specific questions : i) what are the natural and social geographic determinants of the disease and how do they interact in terms of infestation of local populations ? ii) how do the determinants of the disease interact in terms of local environmental contamination ? and iii) could natural and social geographic determinants be integrated to geographically map high schistosomiasis-susceptible communities in the Sourou Valley in Burkina Faso ? These research questions have three underlying specific hypothesis : i) human infestation depends on diverse natural and social geographic determinants occurring through multiple factors and complex interactions ; ii) local environmental contamination depends on diverse natural and social geographic determinants through a complex of interactions between multiple factors ; and iii) the comprehensive, rapid and accurate mapping of high schistosomiasis-susceptible communities and sub-communities in the Sourou Valley is depends on the integration of diverse natural and social geographic determinants collected at the community level. Three specific objectives were defined to verify these hypotheses : i) to identify natural and social geographic elements at the local community level in order to understand their complex interactions with respect to human infestation ; ii) to identify natural and social geographic elements at the local community level for understanding their complex interaction with respect to environmental contamination ; and iii) to integrate identified natural and social geographic elements for geographic mapping of schistosomiasis-susceptible communities in the Sourou Valley. The global and eco-systemic approach used in this work required us to dispose of a multitude of layers of information. In fact, the determination of communities favorable to schistosomiasis transmission requires the crossing of different spatialized data. Data gathering following the holistic perspective included geographic data (natural and social) as well as epidemiologic data. Some were readily available from archive sources, but most of them were ground collected data, particularly human and illness-related data. In this thesis, physical data were collected for assessing the heterogeneity and patterns of the vulnerability in time and space. Climatic variables were used to measure the temporal vulnerability of local populations while environmental layers were used to measure the spatial vulnerability of local populations. Human data such as population size and movement as well as access to infrastructures were collected to assess vulnerable communities within the AOI.

Mots clés  : geography of health ; Burkina Faso ; Sourou Valley ; human schistosomiasis transmission

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