Using MapMCDA Tool for the Spatial Epidemiology of Animal Rabies in Morocco: How to Improve the Rationality of a Qualitative Risk Assessment

*Corresponding author: Mounir Khayli*, Mehdi Kechna, Khalil Zro, Faouzi Kichou, Jaouad Berradae and Mohammed Bouslikhane

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original research

Abstract

Objective
The objective behind this article is to better characterize spatial distribution of animal rabies in Morocco through qualitative risk assessment framework. In Morocco, the occurrence of the disease is neither clearly distributed nor complete. Therefore, risk assessment methods become strongly recommended to cope with distorted geographic patterns.
Methods
Based on data collection set from 168 counties, qualitative changes on spatial epidemiology of rabies were analysed by mapMCDA tool covering a period from 2004 to 2017 and including information on determinants of the geographic distribution of animal rabies in Morocco defined in previous work.
Results
To validate the risk assessment model, the results were compared to rabies cases reported during the study period. The clustering of the rabies risk estimates is decisive and highly reliable. A significant alignment was shown between the very high and high-risk estimates.
Conclusion
This study is the first attempt that has been made for using MapMCDA for rabies. For a normative process aiming to avoid subjectivity related to expert-opinions, authors suggest conducting initially a statistical multiple component analysis that will provide quantified estimates of risk factors. It would be an advisable decision-making tool that helps to design oriented surveillance and allows better referral of actions to control the disease.
Keywords
Animal rabies; Canine rabies; Spatial epidemiology; Qualitative risk assessment; MapMCDA; Veterinary science; Public health; Morocco.