Estimation of under-reported visceral Leishmaniasis (Vl) cases in Bihar: a Bayesian approach
Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a major health problem in the state of Bihar and adjoining areas in India. In absence of any active surveillance mechanism for the disease, there seems to be gross under-reporting of VL cases. Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate extent of under-reporting of VL cases in Bihar using pooled analysis of published papers. Method: We calculated the pooled common ratio (RRMH) based on three studies and combined it with a prior distribution of ratio using inverse-variance weighting method. Bayesian method was used to estimate the posterior distribution of the “under-reporting factor” (ratio of unreported to reported cases). Results: The posterior distribution of ratio of unreported to reported cases yielded a mean of 3.558, with 95% posterior limits of 2.81 and 4.50. Conclusion: Bayesian approach gives evidence to the fact that the total number of VL cases in the state may be nearly more than three times that of currently reported figures.