Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Innovative Approach to Disease Prioritization in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The Adamawa and North regions of Cameroon present a challenging landscape for managing endemic zoonoses and animal diseases. To address this, researchers have adapted multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) for localized disease prioritization. The study incorporates categorical principal component analysis (CATPCA) and two-step cluster analysis, offering a robust methodology that could be scaled nationally and regionally.

Methodology and Criteria Selection

In the study, MCDA was contextualized to prioritize diseases effectively at the sub-national level. The CATPCA technique helped narrow down a comprehensive list of 70 criteria to 17 and 19 essential criteria for zoonoses and animal diseases, respectively. The domains most influencing the prioritization were identified as “public health” for zoonoses and “control and prevention” for animal diseases. This targeted approach ensures a more effective operationalization of disease management strategies.

Results and Clustering

The analysis ranked 27 zoonoses and 40 animal diseases, subsequently grouping them into three distinct clusters. Sensitivity analysis revealed a high correlation between complete and reduced models, validating the robustness of the simplified models. This indicates that the prioritization process remains reliable even when streamlined, making it practical for broader applications in similar contexts.

Concrete Inferences

Key insights from the study include:

  • MCDA, when contextualized, can effectively prioritize diseases at sub-national levels in SSA.
  • CATPCA is instrumental in narrowing down extensive criteria lists to actionable items.
  • High correlation in sensitivity analysis ensures reliable outcomes from simplified models.
  • The participatory nature of this method enhances its relevance and applicability in low and middle-income countries.

These findings highlight the efficacy of MCDA and its adaptability to the specific needs of sub-Saharan Africa, offering a strategic framework for disease prioritization that could be implemented on larger scales.

Original Article:
PLoS One. 2024 Jun 25;19(6):e0295742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0295742. eCollection 2024.

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