Background: Soil transmitted helminth (STH) infections are among the most common human infections worldwide with over 1 billion people affected. Many estimates of STH infection are often based on school-aged children (SAC). This study produced predictive risk-maps of STH on a more finite scale, estimated the number of people infected, and the amount of drug required for preventive chemotherapy (PC) in Ogun state, Nigeria.
Methods: Georeferenced STH infection data obtained from a cross-sectional survey at 33 locations between July 2016 and November 2018, together with remotely-sensed environmental and socio-economic data were analyzed using Bayesian geostatistical modelling. Stepwise variable selection procedure was employed to select a parsimonious set of predictors to predict risk and spatial distribution of STH infections. The number of persons (preschoolers, SAC and adults) infected with STH were estimated, with the amount of tablets needed for preventive chemotherapy.
Results: An overall prevalence of 17.2% (95 % CI: 14.9, 19.5) was recorded for any STH infection. Ascaris lumbricoides infections was the most predominant, with an overall prevalence of 13.6% (95% CI: 11.5, 15.7), while Hookworm and Trichuris trichiura had overall prevalence of 4.6 % (95% CI: 3.3, 5.9) and 1.7% (95 % CI: 0.9, 2.4), respectively. The model-based prevalence predictions ranged from 5.0 % to 23.8 % for Ascaris lumbricoides, from 2.0 % to 14.5 % for hookworms, and from 0.1 % to 5.7 % for Trichuris trichiura across the implementation units. The predictive maps revealed a spatial pattern of high risk in the central, western and on the border of Republic of Benin. The model identified soil pH, soil moisture and elevation as the main predictors of infection for A. lumbricoides, Hookworms and T. trichiura respectively. About 50% (10/20) of the implementation units require biannual rounds of mass drug administration (MDA). Approximately, a total of 1.1 million persons were infected and require 7.8 million doses. However, a sub-total of 375,374 SAC were estimated to be infected, requiring 2.7 million doses.
Conclusion: Our predictive risk maps and estimated PC needs provide useful information for the elimination of STH, either for resource acquisition or identifying priority areas for delivery of interventions in Ogun State, Nigeria.