The Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa Program: Geospatial Sampling Frames for Household-based Studies: Lessons Learned From a Multicountry Surveillance Network in Senegal, South Africa, and Sudan.
Baker S., Ali M., Deerin JF., Eltayeb MA., Cruz Espinoza LM., Gasmelseed N., Im J., Panzner U., Kalckreuth VV., Keddy KH., Pak GD., Park JK., Park SE., Sooka A., Sow AG., Tall A., Luby S., Meyer CG., Marks F.
BACKGROUND:Robust household sampling, commonly applied for population-based investigations, requires sampling frames or household lists to minimize selection bias. We have applied Google Earth Pro satellite imagery to constitute structure-based sampling frames at sites in Pikine, Senegal; Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; and Wad-Medani, Sudan. Here we present our experiences in using this approach and findings from assessing its applicability by determining positional accuracy. METHODS:Printouts of satellite imagery combined with Global Positioning System receivers were used to locate and to verify the locations of sample structures (simple random selection; weighted-stratified sampling). Positional accuracy was assessed by study site and administrative subareas by calculating normalized distances (meters) between coordinates taken from the sampling frame and on the ground using receivers. A higher accuracy in conjunction with smaller distances was assumed. Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn multiple pairwise comparisons were performed to evaluate positional accuracy by setting and by individual surveyor in Pietermaritzburg. RESULTS:The median normalized distances and interquartile ranges were 0.05 and 0.03-0.08 in Pikine, 0.09 and 0.05-0.19 in Pietermaritzburg, and 0.05 and 0.00-0.10 in Wad-Medani, respectively. Root mean square errors were 0.08 in Pikine, 0.42 in Pietermaritzburg, and 0.17 in Wad-Medani. Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn comparisons indicated significant differences by low- and high-density setting and interviewers who performed the presented approach with high accuracy compared to interviewers with poor accuracy. CONCLUSIONS:The geospatial approach presented minimizes systematic errors and increases robustness and representativeness of a sample. However, the findings imply that this approach may not be applicable at all sites and settings; its success also depends on skills of surveyors working with aerial data. Methodological modifications are required, especially for resource-challenged sites that may be affected by constraints in data availability and area size.