Data_Sheet_1_The Arts and Tools for Using Routine Health Data to Establish HIV High Burden Areas: The Pilot Case of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa.docx (448.54 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_The Arts and Tools for Using Routine Health Data to Establish HIV High Burden Areas: The Pilot Case of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa.docx

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posted on 12.11.2019 by Njeri Wabiri, Inbarani Naidoo, Esther Mungai, Candice Samuel, Tryphinah Ngwenya

Background: To optimally allocate limited health resources in responding to the HIV epidemic, South Africa has undertaken to generate local epidemiological profiles identifying high disease burden areas. Central to achieving this, is the need for readily available quality health data linked to both large and small geographic areas. South Africa has relied on national population-based surveys: the Household HIV Survey and the National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey (ANC) amongst others for such data for informing policy decisions. However, these surveys are conducted approximately every 2 and 3 years creating a gap in data and evidence required for policy. At subnational levels, timely decisions are required with frequent course corrections in the interim. Routinely collected HIV testing data at public health facilities have the potential to provide this much needed information, as a proxy measure of HIV prevalence in the population, when survey data is not available. The South African District health information system (DHIS) contains aggregated routine health data from public health facilities which is used in this article.

Methods: Using spatial interpolation methods we combine three “types” of data: (1) 2015 gridded high-resolution population data, (2) age-structure data as defined in South Africa mid-year population estimates, 2015; and (3) georeferenced health facilities HIV-testing data from DHIS for individuals (15–49 years old) who tested in health care facilities in the district in 2015 to delineate high HIV disease burden areas using density surface of either HIV positivity and/or number of people living with HIV (PLHIV). For validation, we extracted interpolated values at the facility locations and compared with the real observed values calculating the residuals. Lower residuals means the Inverse Weighted Distance (IDW) interpolator provided reliable prediction at unknown locations. Results were adjusted to provincial published HIV estimates and aggregated to municipalities. Uncertainty measures map at municipalities is provided. Data on major cities and roads networks was only included for orientation and better visualization of the high burden areas.

Results: Results shows the HIV burden at local municipality level, with high disease burden in municipalities in eThekwini, iLembe and uMngundgudlovu; and around major cities and national routes.

Conclusion: The methods provide accurate estimates of the local HIV burden at the municipality level. Areas with high population density have high numbers of PLHIV. The analysis puts into the hand of decision makers a tool that they can use to generate evidence for HIV programming. The method allows decision makers to routinely update and use facility level data in understanding the local epidemic.