Get Started! Click the "i" button at the top of the map, or see "How-To" above
This WebGIS serves as a prototype developed to illustrate the efficacy of GIS as a pest management and eradication strategy. This collection of spatial data and integrated volunteered geographic information allows users to map and analyze social and environmental risk factors for Tungiasis. It empowers local charities to collect and share micro-level data with macro-scale actors like the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and USAID. It also provides a shared workspace for organizations that may lack the technology or resources necessary for inter-agency collaboration and communication.
Click on the Contribute Data button at the map's upper left corner:
- Organization Service Area: Enter contact information for your service organization and draw its coverage area on the map.
- Structure Treated: Users can report pesticide application and living conditions in individual shelters.
- Individual Demographics: Users (health care providers, charity workers, government workers) can record and store demographic information of Tungiasis victims to a map for ongoing spatial analysis and research.
See App Full Screen
Mapping Risk Factors
The prototype is modeled on the country of Kenya, with eventual expansion to Uganda, and then other sub-Saharan countries. In Kenya, approximately 4% of the total population suffer from jigger infestation—1.4 million Kenyans. The total population at risk—10 million—are the very young, elderly, or physically and/or developmentally disabled. (Kenya MOH)
Many critical risk factors associated with T. penetrans infestation are geographic in nature or cyclic in chronon and are uniquely fit for display in a GIS (Ugbomoiko et al. 2007).
Social and environmental risk factors can be displayed visually within a GISystem and overlaid to best identify likely hotspots of infestation that can then be targeted for treatment.
- Lack of Shoes
- Pigs on the compound
- Access to medical treatment
- Sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
- Living in houses with earthen floors
- Land Use/Land Cover
- Housing conditions
- Population density
- Cohabitation with livestock
- Presence of rats
- Soil Characteristics
Mapping the Afflicted
The Chigoe Flea Eradication Project WebGIS provides a workspace for health care workers, volunteers, and citizen scientists to collect and store demographic data about afflicted individuals, but considers the location of the individual to be equally important data.
This application models the practice of placing markers on the map that represent individuals. This data (while currently fictional) is intended to provide first-hand patient data to doctors, scientists, and activists that would otherwise be unavailable due to isolation and cost. At no time will personal, identifiable details of individuals be collected or retained.
The following video is a short documentary about the Chigoe Flea:
Hints and Tips for using this WebGIS
Basic Map Controls are in the lower left-hand corner of the map:
Zoom in and out to see more layers, using the +/- button or the mouse scroll wheel. As you zoom in, different layers become visible.
The Home icon zooms the map out to its full extent.
The Search bar can be used to search for places using keywords or coordinates, powered by Esri.
The black border on the top contains Widgets, or tools. When any of the icons are clicked, a panel opens to display the associated application. From left to right:
The Help feature contains instructions on how to use the app, also found here.
The Legend shows layers visible at the current scale--as you zoom in on the map, different layers will appear.
The Layer List (looks like a stack of papers) displays all data associated with the web application, including layers that are currently turned off.
- To prevent clutter on the map, many layers have been turned off.
- Turn a layer on or off by checking or unchecking the box next to it.
- Some layers can only be seen when zoomed in quite far.
The Basemap Gallery (four-pane square) allows you to choose different map types. National Geographic is the default. You might also like Imagery with Labels!
Widgets on the left side of the map, from top to bottom:
The Contribute Data widget enables users to input data into a database in order to better address the challenges of managing a widespread epidermal parasitic skin disease (EPSD)
Service Area - Organizations (charities, NGOs, etc) that operate in eastern Africa providing medical care, humanitarian aid, and education are invited to enter contact information and draw an approximate coverage area on the map.
Individual Demographics - Health and humanitarian aid workers and volunteers are invited to enter demographic information about Tungiasis-afflicted individuals. Patient privacy is of vital importance and no identifying factors are recorded.
Structures Treated - As aid workers visit homes and apply pesticides, they are invited to enter attributes of each site visited and treated.
The Query Attribute widget (looks like a funnel ) can be used to display records that match a specific value--explore areas where less than 50mm of rain falls per year, find out where camels outnumber donkeys, or explore schools that lack a toilet by viewing pre-set queries.
The Analyze, Buffer, and Overlay widget (a circle with dots in it) is a special tool that performs various location-based queries. Its functions are essential to exploring spatial relationships between layers.
- This tool only works when the user is logged into the organizational account and costs credits to run.
- Sample Layers of these tool outputs are included in the layer list.
The Measure widget allows you to take an approximate measurement of a line between objects, or area of a polygon. Select Area, Distance, or Location. The default measure is in kilometers.
To explore all Attribute Tables, click on the arrow in the middle of the bottom border of the map. Attribute tables are navigated as tabs.
Feedback and suggestions for new data are welcome! ChigoeFleaEradicationProject@gmail.com
The Power of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)
More than forty charitable organizations already exist to combat the blight of the Chigoe flea in Kenya, a primarily English-speaking country (Feldmeier et al. 2013).vi,vii, Many of these organizations already collect data in order to most wisely divide volunteer time between afflicted areas; appropriating this volunteered geographic information (VGI) for integration into a GISystem would require little change from current organizational practices. Smartphones and cameras, even when not tied to wireless cell networks, contain onboard GPS receivers that can track positional data with an acceptable accuracy and precision relative to the scale of the operation. A geodatabase of the region in which volunteer organizations’ coverage areas can be continuously updated with VGI—such as demographic information, severity of infestation, and dates of treatment—will accommodate the sharing of information for a higher purpose.
Distributing Aid, Preventative Treatment, and Education
Recording the distribution of supplies and implementation of treatment methods in a geodatabase format permits spatial and statistical analysis upon the collected data, revealing successes and failures in approach.
While surgical removal is necessary for those already afflicted, preventative measures are becoming more widespread and cost-effective. Recent studies in Brazil show promise in the twice-daily application of dimethicone to affected parts of the body, effectively suffocating the fleas, while in Madagascar a four-week course of twice-daily application of the plant-based repellant Zanzarin® was shown to reverse tungiasis-associated clinical pathology almost completely (Thielecke et al. 2013, Feldmeier 2006). Another Brazilian study focuses on preemptive veterinary care of other reservoir animals such as dogs (Klimpel et al. 2005). Neem oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil have been shown to be effective repellants as well.
Development of tactical distribution of inexpensive antiparasitic treatments, including petroleum jelly, dimethicone, potassium permanganate (KMnO4), and Zanzarin® enable the afflicted to be proactive in their own care.
In the image to the right, one foot shows the tell-tale purple stain of potassium permanganate while the other has been treated with petroleum jelly. Both treatments were effective. Image courtesy of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2007).
The Kenyan Ministry of Health suggests:
- Pouring concrete or plaster to cover exposed dirt floors
- Regular cleaning of the feet and floor with water to prevent reinfestation
- Eliminating uncontrolled disposal of human waste
- See the entire document here
Recording the location and incidence of pesticide application is a money-saving enterprise in addition to preventing the toxic buildup of pesticides over time.
The provision of closed-toe shoes, clothing, and clean surgical instruments are vital in preventing infestation and secondary infection.
Educating residents concerning the causes, cures, and prevention of future infestations is key to helping people help themselves. Teaching water-free methods of personal hygiene in areas where access to fresh water is limited in conjunction with aforementioned topical treatment may be the best option for some afflicted communities. In many communities, the burden of preventative care falls on the women of the community (Winter et al. 2009). In educating these caregivers, the burden on volunteer groups is lessened.
Ahadi Kenya's Hygiene Campaign
Parasitic insects have long been a nuisance and/or threat to humans. Developing a strategic GIS for the identification of infestation and creation of a treatment plan—be it the use of pesticides, distribution of medicines or prophylactics, or scheduling of medical visits—will be essential for combatting the scourge of human ectoparasites that act as disease vectors in densely populated areas. As childhood mortality falls survive due to better nutrition and medical treatment, the concentration of humans within urban areas will continue to rise exponentially.
A geographic information science approach to the control of parasites and/or introduced and invasive species has many applications as we continue on the path of becoming a global society. Just as invasive plants, reptiles, and mammals colonize new lands through unintentional introduction, so do pests and parasites. Epidermal parasitic skin diseases (EPSD) occur worldwide but have been widely neglected by the scientific community (Feldmeier et al. 2009). These pests cost us both economically and socially, supporting the need to explore new, effective management strategies for their control and removal. The potential for future use of this model in managing pests that negatively impact human life is wide-ranging in the management and eradication of many economically destructive and disease-propagating pests:
- Programs to track, control and eradicate the invasive Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta in the United States, Australia, Taiwan and China. (For example, see this Pest Tracker from Purdue University that allows citizens to report exotic pest sightings.)
- Continued work toward the prevention and elimination of malaria by studying distribution and biology of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito, recording areas targeted with pesticide application, and tracking the distribution network of materials such as mosquito netting and anti-malarial medications.
- Efforts to reduce the worldwide economic and ecologic impacts of the invasive Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus and Asian subterranean termite C. gestroi as the two species now readily hybridize
- Studies to track the spread of Africanized honey bees Apis mellifera scutellata in the western hemisphere, and research into the decline of European (Italian) honey bees A. m. liqustica.
Education and prevention efforts in tropical Africa toward the extermination of mangoworms, Cordylobia anthropophaga, a species of blow-fly causing myiasis in both humans and animals
- Management and prediction of the spread of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) in North America and Europe caused by an invasive fungus spread by three species of bark beetle in the family Curculionidae
- Establishment of a plan of action to address rapid expansion of the recently introduced brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys in the United States
- Addressing the ongoing catastrophic spread of the Pine Bark Beetle across North American pine forests.
A note about administrative boundaries: Rapid changes to administrative boundaries within Kenya have occurred over the last twenty years. The legacy system of Provinces, Districts, Divisions, Locations, and sub-locations was continuously updated from 1995 to 2013, meaning that GIS datasets produced in Kenya over that time had widely varying administrative boundaries. A lack of established standards in data collection over this period resulted in the production of many datasets that are now functionally obsolete. For example, datasets produced between 2005 and 2007 use the 70 Districts of Kenya, but as of 2009 that number increased to 210.
Pursuant to the 2010 Kenyan Consitution, the current enumeration unit is the County; 46 counties and the capitol city Nairobi put the number at 47. There were 290 Constituencies following the change in the Constitution. Due to this incredibale variation, it is of the utmost importance to document the dates and administrative boundaries in use when the data was collected. All datasets below are dated as closely as possible and base data for several types of numeration units are also in the map's Table of Contents.
The Ministry of Planning and National development, Central Bureau of Statistics has authored a brief history of the census in Kenya, outlining the inherent problems in mapping a region in political flux.
- Caumes E., Carrière J., Guermonprez G., Bricaire F., Danis M., Gentilini M. (1995) Dermatoses associated with travel to tropical countries: a prospective study of the diagnosis and management of 269 patients presenting to a tropical disease unit. Clin Infect Dis. Mar. 20(3):542-8.
Callahan K., Bolton B., Hopkins D., Ruiz-Tiben E., Withers P, et al. (2013) Contributions of the Guinea Worm Disease Eradication Campaign toward Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7(5): e2160. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002160
Chouvenc, T., Helmick, E., Su, N-Y. (2015) Hybridization of Two Major Termite Invaders as a Consequence of Human Activity. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120745. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120745
Feldmeier H., Eisele M., Van Marck E., Mehlhorn H., Ribeiro R., Heukelbach J. (2004) Investigations on the biology, epidemiology, pathology and control of Tunga penetrans in Brazil: IV. Clinical and histopathology. Parasitol Res. Oct. 94(4):275-282.
Feldmeier, H., Heukelbach, J. (2009) Epidermal parasitic skin diseases: a neglected category of poverty-associated plagues. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 87:152-159. doi: 10.2471/BLT.07.047308
Feldmeier, H., Heukelbach, J., Eisele, M. , Sousa, A. Q., Barbosa, L. M. M. and Carvalho, C. B. M. (2002) Bacterial superinfection in human tungiasis. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 7: 559–564. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.2002.00904.x
Feldmeier H., Heukelbach J., Ugbomoiko U., Sentongo E., Mbabazi P., von Samson-Himmelstjerna, G., Krantz I. (2014) Tungiasis—A neglected disease with many challenges for global public health. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(10):e3133. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003133
Feldmeier, H., Kehr, J.D., Heukelbach, J. (2006) A plant-based repellant protects against Tunga penetrans infestation and sand flea disease. Acta Tropica, 99(2-3): 126-136. doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2006.05.013
Feldmeier, H., Sentongo, E., Krantz, I. (2013) Tungiasis (sand flea disease): a parasitic disease with particular challenges for public health. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Disease, 32(1): 19-26. doi: 10.1007/s10096-012-1725-4
Goodchild, M. (2007) Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal, 69(4): 211-221. doi: 10.1007/s10708-007-9111-y
Heukelbach, J. (2005) Tungiasis. Revisto do Instituto de Medicina Tropial de São Paolo, 47(6):307-13. doi:10.1590/S0036-46652005000600001
Heukelbach, J. (2005) Revision on tungiasis: treatment options and prevention. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 4(1): 151-157. doi: 10.1586/1478722.214.171.124
Heukelbach, J., Costa, A.M., Wilcke, T., Mencke, N., Feldmeier, H. (2004) The animal reservoir of Tunga penetrans in severely affected communities of north-east Brazil. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 18(4):329-35. doi: 10.1111/j.0269-283X.2004.00532.x
Heukelbach, J., Wilcke, T., Harms, G., and Feldmeier, H. (2005) Seasonal variation of tungiasis in an endemic community.” The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 72(2): 145-149
Karunamoorthi K. (2013) Tungiasis: a neglected epidermal parasitic skin disease of marginalized populations—a call for global science and policy. Parasitology Research, 12(10):3635-43. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3551-8.
Klimpel S., Mehlhorn H., Heukelbach J., Feldmeier H., Mencke N. (2005) Field trial of the efficacy of a combination of imidacloprid and permethrin against Tunga penetrans (sand flea, jigger flea) in dogs in Brazil. Parasitology Research, 97(1)ppS113-S119. doi: 10.1007/s00436-005-1454-z
Lefebvre M., Capito C., Durant C., Hervier B., Grossi O. (2011) Tungiasis: a poorly documented tropical dermatosis. Médecine et maladies infectieuses, 41(9):465-8. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2011.05.007
Muehlen, M., Feldmeier, H., Wilkce, T., Winter, B., Heukelbach, J. (2006) Identifying risk factors for Tungiasis and heavy infestation in a resource-poor community in northeast Brazil. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 100(4); 371-380. doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.06.033
Njau, N., Wanzala, P., Mutugi, M., Ariza, L., Heukelbach, J. (2012) Tungiasis (jigger infestation) in Rural Kenya, an emerging infectious disease. Retrovirology, 9(1):P37. doi:10.1186/1742-4690-9-S1-P37
Pilger D, Schwalfenberg S, Heukelbach J, Witt L, Mehlhorn H, Mencke N, et al. (2008) Investigations on the biology, epidemiology, pathology, and control of Tunga penetrans in Brazil: VII. The importance of animal reservoirs for human infestation. Parasitol Res. Apr. 102(5):875-80.
Royal, N. (2013) Dracunculiasis, Proximity, and Risk: Analyzing the Location of Guinea Worm Disease in a GIS. Transactions in GIS, 17(2): 298–312. doi : 10.1111/tgis.12003
Royal, N. (2014) Of Water and Worms: Guinea Worm re-emergence in Niger. Journal of Water and Health, 12.1: 184-195. doi: 10.2166/wh.2013.053
St. Fleur, N. (2015, January 15). The Second Human Disease Ever Eradicated. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/carter-center-guinea-worm-jimmy-carter-parasite-pipe-filter/384557/
Thielecke, M., Nordin, P., Ngomi, N., Feldmeier, H. (2014) Treatment of Tungiasis with Dimeticone: A Proof-of-Principle Study in Rural Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(7): e3058. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003058
Thielecke, M. Raharimang, V., Rogier, C., Stauss-Grabo, M., Richard, V. (2013) Prevention of Tungiasis and Tungiasis-Associated Morbidity Using the Plant-Based Repellant Zanzarin: A Randomized, Controlled Field Study in Rural Madagascar. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7(9): e2426. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002426
Ugbomoiko, U.S., Ariza, L., Ofoezie, I.E., Heukelbach, J. (2007) Risk factors for tungiasis in Nigeria: identification of targets for effective intervention. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 1(3):e87. doi: D10.1371/journal.pntd.0000087
United Nations Children’s Fund. (2006) UNICEF water, sanitation, and hygiene strategies for 2006-2015. UN Economic Council. http://www.unicef.org/about/execboard/files/06-6_WASH_final_ODS.pdf
Winter B., Oliveira F.A.., Wilcke T, Heukelbach J., Feldmeier H. (2009) Tungiasis-related knowledge and treatment practices in two endemic communities in northeast Brazil. Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 3(6):458-doi:10.3855/jidc.418
GIS Data Sources
GIS Layer Sources
- Socioeconomic data of Kenya, 2011 - Open Data for Kenya
- GeoNames Metadata
- GeoNames database
- Towns and Urban Centers - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (kenya_all_towns.shp)
- Spatially Aggregated Multipurpose Landcover Database for Kenya - AFRICOVER - FAO UN GeoNetwork - 2002 (ke_landcover_ge.shp, Kenya Legend.xls)
- Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 90m Digital Elevation Model - World Resources Institute (ke_srtm.zip)
- Bare Areas (naturally devoid of vegetation) - World Resources Institute (ke_bareareas.shp)
- Rivers of Kenya - AFRICOVER (ke_rivers.shp)
- Kenya Lakes - ILRI (kenya_lakes.shp)
- Cattle Densitites at Third Administrative Level (Division pre-2010) (Kenya_cattledensity.shp)
- Kenya Cattle by County - Kenya Open Data - from Census Vol II Q 11: Livestock population by type and district - 2009 (Census_Vol_II_Q_11__Livestock_population_by_type_and_district_-_2009.xls)
- Population Density - Kenya Open Data - from 2009 Census Volume 1 b Table 1 A County Population and Density (Vol_1b_Table_1_A_County_Population-_2009.xlsx)
- Properties of Kenya Soils - Kenya Soil Survey - ILRI - 2002 (Kenya_soils.shp)
- Kenya Rainfall Distribution - Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), National Water Master Plan - ILRI (Kenya_rainfall_distribution.shp)
- 2014 Kenya Administrative Boundaries (Kenya_admin_2014_WGS84.shp)
- 2009 Administrative Boundaries - National, Province, County, Constituency - DIVA GIS from UCDavis (KEN_adm0.shp - KEN.adm5.shp)
- Kenya Poverty 1999 - ILRI (kenya_poverty_1999.shp)
- 1999 Malaria Endemicity by District - ILRI (kenya_malaria_zones.shp)
- Water Point Mapping in Kisimu, Busia, Kajiado, and Kiambu Counties - Kenya Open Data (Water_Point_Mapping_in_Kisumu__Busia__Kajiado__Kiambu_Counties.xlsx)
- Water Point Mapping in Embu, Kwale, Turkana, and Isiola Counties - Kenya Open Data (Water_point_mapping_for_Embu__Kwale__Turkana_And_Isiolo_County.xlsx)
- County Data Sheet Indicators - Kenya Open Data - 2005 and 2009 (County_Data_Sheet_Indicators_2005___2009.xlsx)
- Kenya Primary Schools - School Mapping Database, Ministry of Education - Kenya Open Data - 2007
- Kenya OpenData Metadata