Application Of Area To Point Kriging To Low Birth Weight Incidence In Ghana
The study examines the spatial distribution of low birth weight (LBW) by the ten administrative Regions in Ghana using Area to Point Kriging method (ATP). LBW babies, defined as babies born at term who weigh less than 2.5kg (WHO 2004) is an important indicator of reproductive health and general health status of population. The incidence of LBW is quite high in the sub region which has a public health concern.The study used a data set based on a longitudinal study from the fourth round Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS). This was a national survey conducted by Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2011 to monitor progress of women and children. A sample of 10,963 women within the reproductive age (15 – 49) years across the country between 2009 and 2011 were selected for the survey. The geostatistical analysis applied in this study consists of three steps: filtering of noise in the data based on Poisson kriging, mapping of the corresponding risk at a fine scale and estimating geographical clustering of the LBW at the administrative units his study has demonstrated how geostatistical method can be used to model LBW incidence by administrative units. The Area to Point kriging (ATP) method used in this study has given an insight into a more localized potential “hot spots” for LBW incidence that may not be evident when non geostatistical methods are employed. ATP kriging is used to create continuous risk surface that reduces the visual bias associated with large administrative units. The research showed a large range of spatial autocorrelation in the northern part than in the south in the incidence of LBW. The study has demonstrated that the risk associated with LBW is centred broadly in the northern districts, districts in Central region and districts in the southern part of Ashanti region in the country which coincidentally are dominated by people of Sissala, Kassena, Mamprusi, Mole Dagbani, Wassa and Akan descends.
The study further revealed that the least affected areas are those settlements along the Volta lake who are predominantly Ewes. This means that Ewe women are less likely to give birth to LBW babies than any ethnic group in Ghana. This stands to reason that LBW incidence in Ghana is more of an ethnic problem with some cultural undertones and parity as a main contributing factor than any other factor.
Keywords- Area to Point kriging, Low birth weight, geostatistical, autocorrelation, spatial