Satellite imagery technology in public health: analysis of site catchment areas for assessment of poliovirus circulation in Nigeria and Niger

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Marina Takane *
Shizu Yabe
Yumiko Tateshita
Yusuke Kobayashi
Akihiko Hino
Kazuo Isono
Hiromasa Okayasu
Ousmane M. Diop
Takeo Tadono
(*) Corresponding Author:
Marina Takane |


Environmental surveillance supplements the surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis by monitoring wastewater for poliovirus circulation. Building on previous work, we analysed wastewater flow to optimise selection and placement of sampling sites with higher digital surface model (DSM) resolution. The newly developed 5-m mesh DSM from the panchromatic, remote-sensing instruments for stereo mapping on-board the Japanese advanced land observing satellite was used to estimate catchment areas and flow of sewage water based on terrain topography. Optimal sampling sites for environmental surveillance were identified to maximise sensitivity to poliovirus circulation. Population data were overlaid to prioritise selection of catchment areas with dense populations. The results for Kano City, Nigeria were compared with an analysis based on existing 30- and 90-m mesh digital elevation model (DEM). Analysis based on 5-m mesh DSM was also conducted for three cities in Niger to prioritise the selection of new sites. The analysis demonstrated the feasibility of using DSMs to estimate catchment areas and population size for programme planning and outbreak response with respect to polio. Alternative sampling points in Kano City that would cover a greater population size have been identified and potential sampling sites in Niger are proposed. Comparison with lower-resolution DEMs suggests that the use of a 5-m mesh DSMs would be useful where the terrain is flat or includes small-scale topographic changes not captured by 30-m data searches.

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Author Biographies

Marina Takane, World Health Organization, Geneva

Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health (PHE), Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health (WSH) unit



Hiromasa Okayasu, World Health Organization, Geneva

Department of Polio Operations and Research

Ousmane M. Diop, World Health Organization, Geneva

Department of Polio Operations and Research 

Coordinator Global Polio Laboratory Network