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Syst Rev. 2020 Feb 11;9(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s13643-020-1287-y.

Situation analysis of onchocerciasis in Cameroon: a protocol for systematic review of epidemiological studies and impact of disease control interventions.

Author information

1
Centre for Research on Filariasis and other Tropical Diseases (CRFilMT), Yaoundé, Cameroon. nanadjeunga@crfilmt.org.
2
Parasitology and Ecology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon. nanadjeunga@crfilmt.org.
3
Centre for Research on Filariasis and other Tropical Diseases (CRFilMT), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
4
Parasitology and Ecology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
5
National Onchocerciasis Control Program (NOCP), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
6
Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences and London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, London, UK.
7
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research and MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London, London, UK.
8
Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many control methods have been implemented to tackle onchocerciasis and great successes have been achieved, leading to a paradigm shift from control of morbidity to interruption of transmission and ultimately elimination. The mandate of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) ended in 2015, and endemic countries are to plan and conduct elimination activities by themselves, with technical assistance by the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN). To this end, an elimination expert committee was set up in Cameroon in 2018. This committee identified the need to update the data on the current situation of onchocerciasis. The present study aims to systematically review and report all available epidemiological data, including prevalence, intensity and transmission of onchocerciasis to provide pertinent information that will be useful to design optimal strategies to achieve onchocerciasis elimination in Cameroon.

METHODS:

PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science will be searched from inception onwards. Grey literature will be identified through Google Scholar searches, dissertation databases and other relevant documents such as government reports. Eligible studies will be mostly observational, including cohort and cross-sectional surveys. No limitations will be imposed on publication status and study period. The primary outcomes will be (1) the prevalence and intensity of Onchocerca volvulus infection in humans, (2) transmission intensity and (3) impact of interventions on prevalence, intensity and transmission of onchocerciasis. Secondary outcomes will be environmental and socio-demographic factors supporting the primary outcomes. Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles and abstract data. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion. Methodological quality including bias will be appraised using appropriate approaches. A narrative synthesis will describe quality and content of the epidemiological evidence. Prevalence and intensity of infection estimates will be stratified according to gender, age, geographical location and year of publication.

DISCUSSION:

This study will provide the health authorities as well as the scientific community with up-to-date information about the epidemiological situation of onchocerciasis in Cameroon. Understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of the infection will help to define alternative and complementary strategies to accelerate onchocerciasis elimination in the country. Results of this review will also be used to update existing epidemiological models for onchocerciasis in order to fine-tune predictions of elimination timeframes in the country.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

This protocol is under registration review in PROSPERO.

KEYWORDS:

Cameroon; Elimination; Onchocerciasis; Protocol; Systematic review

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