A three-state Markov Chain Model of plasmodium falciparum parasitemia transmission in Ghana

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In this thesis, a three state Markov chain model is used to describe the malaria transmission dynamics, using Ghana data from the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organization. The states of the model are defined as susceptible, Infected and dead and the time step for a transition to occur is defined as 8 days. The model is based on the assumptions that individuals are transferred at constant rate between states, and that only one transition is possible between two consecutive surveys. The model is used to determine the steady state probability distributions, the life expectancy of an individual and finally the results are interpreted in terms of malaria control issues. The expected time to a first infection is found to be 11 days and the total duration of the disease (non severe) is found to be 17 days. The life expectancy from the onset of the survey is found to be 55 years for both individuals who are initially infected and those who are initially susceptible.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy, October-2012