Saviour Mantey, Naa Dedei Tagoe
Abstract: This research examined the effect of Land Surface Temperatures (LSTs) and elevations by the synthesis of remote sensing and landscape metrics on the spread of Buruli Ulcer (BU) caused by Mycobacterium Ulcerans (MU) in the Amansie West District (AWD), Upper Denkyira West District (UDWD), with Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal (TNM) as a case control study area. LST maps were derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) and Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI). In-situ ground truth temperatures were used together with the derived LSTs from the Landsat data. Elevation maps were also generated from ASTER Global Digital Elevation Models (GDEM) and from fieldwork. Epidemiological data of disease were collected from the National Buruli Ulcer Control Programme, District Hospitals and from fieldwork. Twenty-seven (27) communities were found to have cases of BU in the three study areas. Statistical analysis was applied to the epidemiological data to identify the relationship between LSTs, elevations and BU disease spread. Results showed that, landscape factors, such as rural and low-lying elevations of between 85 m and 202 m above Mean Sea Level as well as LST ranges of 20.8 oC to 34.2 oC, strongly correlated with BU disease. This research offers an opportunity to explore the effects of elevation and LST conditions on the spread of BU disease caused by MU. Results will contribute to public health and environmental management in the study areas.
Keywords: BU, Elevation, LST, MU, AWD, UDWD, TNM, Ghana