Monday, 7 January 2013: 1:45 PM
Room 6B (Austin Convention Center)
Every year, West African countries are afflicted with Meningococcal Meningitis (MCM) disease outbreaks. Although the seasonal and spatial patterns of disease cases which occur mostly during winter in the meningitis belt are closely linked with climate variability, the mechanisms responsible for these observed patterns are still not well identified. This is particularly true for the linkage between epidemic intensity from year to year and climate variability. A spatio-temporal analysis of annual cases of MCM reported from 1969 to 2005 in African countries provided by World Health Organization, Burkina Faso health ministry and several climatic variables from NCEP reanalyses has been performed to highlight the relationships between climate and MCM disease at the interannual scale. First, we computed correlation maps of atmospheric variables likely to influence MCM disease outbreaks (e.g. moisture, wind, pressure, temperature...) and annual cases of MCM in two afflicted countries, e.g. Burkina Faso and Niger. Then, the results of these correlations enable the selection of relevant climatic variables for construction of generalized linear models to forecast MCM intensity from year to year at national level. These models have been experienced and evaluated by Burkina Meteorological Authority and Health Protection General Direction during 2009 to 2012. The encouraging results of such simple models and different analysis enable the development of a survey and an early warning integrate system of MCM epidemics in African Sahelo-Soudanian countries.
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