Spartial visualization and analysis of Tuberculosis infection: Case of Kitui County
The importance of using technology such as Geographic Information System (GIS) in the study of spread of diseases and its support decision making, health planning and management has brought a paradigm shift from traditional social medicine to a new technology empowered public health care. The growth of medical informatics, decreasing cost in computer systems and availability of medical geo-referenced data can be harnessed and integrated with GIS technology to help study Tuberculosis (TB) Epidemiology. This project was informed by these emerging new developments and the need of information of interest to epidemiologist to capture, store, analyze, visualize and manage TB in Kitui County using a user friendly GIS prototype. The study models data from five TB management units. The data comprised mainly of secondary data obtained from registers and quarterly reports. The physical addresses of the facilities and the participants were converted into GIS coordinates and exported to ArcGIS/R-GIS for visualization and analysis. The study showed evidence of high prevalence of TB in major towns, along the major road, and densely populated areas. High death rate was registered not only in high populated areas, but also in areas with poor facility coverage. It also showed correlation between the rate of TB infection and HIV; with 4 out every 10 patient being HIV positive, evident was correlation between high death rate (8%), HIV (29%) and low literacy. Further, there was evidence in lack of criteria in allocation of TB diagnostic and treatment centers and related services. Keywords: Tuberculosis, clustering, spatial analysis, Geographic Information Systems, Kitui County.