Assessing the Relationship between Socioeconomic Conditions and Urban Environmental Quality in Accra, Ghana

Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 74, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.06). 01/2010; 7(1):125-45. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph7010125
Source: PubMed


The influence of socioeconomic status (SES) on health inequalities is widely known, but there is still poor understanding of the precise relationship between area-based socioeconomic conditions and neighborhood environmental quality. This study aimed to investigate the socioeconomic conditions which predict urban neighbourhood environmental quality. The results showed wide variation in levels of association between the socioeconomic variables and environmental conditions, with strong evidence of a real difference in environmental quality across the five socioeconomic classes with respect to total waste generation (p < 0.001), waste collection rate (p < 0.001), sewer disposal rate (p < 0.001), non-sewer disposal (p < 0.003), the proportion of households using public toilets (p = 0.005). Socioeconomic conditions are therefore important drivers of change in environmental quality and urban environmental interventions aimed at infectious disease prevention and control if they should be effective could benefit from simultaneous implementation with other social interventions.

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    • "The solid waste in Jordan has an organic content of 73% by weight ( Qdais, 2007), while Haiti and Palestine have 65% (Philippe and Culot, 2009; Al Khatib et al., 2010). Meanwhile, the organic content forms approximately 60% of the waste stream in China (Zhang et al., 2010) and in Ghana (Fobil et al., 2010). The majority of non-degradable component of the waste is recyclable while various options exist for the degradable fraction such as composting and anaerobic digestion (Barton et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban areas in Nigeria today, are facing the problems of pile heaps of solid wastes in their environment. This is as a result of pressure of population growth, spontaneous urbanization and industrialization. The aim of this paper is to examine sustainability of urban solid waste management in Nigeria, its challenges and solutions. Content analysis was employed to examine case studies in previous research, using deductive approach with qualitative data from relevant documents on urban solid wastes in Nigeria. A good proportion of the data were those compiled through observations in the course of involvement in physical planning activities, as well as teacher-student interactions in Nigeria in which the authors have been involved over the years. The results revealed uncontrolled garbage, roadsides littered with refuse, streams blocked with junks, disposal sites causing nuisance to residential areas and inappropriately disposed toxic wastes amongst others constituting health hazards to both humans and the environment. The paper recommends the adoption of environmental education and public awareness as a viable alternative for achieving sustainable solid waste management in Nigeria.
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    • "In order to find out whether differences in malaria and diarrhea mortalities existed across different environmental zones, we first explored the large number of environmental variables under each subcategory for determination of the direction of their eigenvectors using principal component analysis (PCA). In a data reduction strategy, we again used PCA to decompose the variables under each subcategory into a manageable unidirectional variable which was employed to develop an ordinal scale of urban environmental zonations at differing levels of environmental quality conditions [5]. The resulting environmental zones were nominally defined as " extremely deteriorated zone " , " moderately deteriorated zone " , and " least deteriorated zone " representing worst, somewhat worse, and good environmental conditions, respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Urbanization is a process which alters the structure and function of urban environments. The alteration in the quality of urban environmental conditions has significant implications for health. This applies both to the ecology of insect vectors that may transmit diseases and the burden of disease. To investigate the relationship between malaria and infectious diarrhea mortality and spatially varied neighborhood environmental quality conditions in a low-income economy. A one time point spatial analysis of cluster-level environmental conditions and mortality data using principal component analysis (PCA), one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and generalized linear models (GLMs). Environmental variables were extracted from the Ghana Census 2000 database while mortality data were obtained from the Ghana Births and Deaths Registry in Accra over the period 1998-2002. Whereas there was a strong evidence of a difference in relative mortality of malaria across urban environmental zones of differing neighborhood environmental conditions, no such evidence of mortality differentials was observed for diarrhea. In addition, whereas bivariate analyses showed a weak to strong evidence of association between the environmental variables and malaria mortality, no evidence of association was found between diarrhea mortality and environmental variables. We conclude that environmental management initiatives intended for infectious disease control might substantially reduce the risk of urban malaria mortality and to a less extent that for urban diarrhea mortality in rapidly urbanizing areas in a low-income setting.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 06/2011; 2011(9):484010. DOI:10.1155/2011/484010
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    ABSTRACT: Health inequalities are linked to inequalities in Socioeconomic Status (SES). While infant malaria/diarrhea mortality is widely studied, not very much is known about the influence of area-based measures of SES and all age urban malaria and diarrhea mortalities. To assess the relationship between area-based SES and malaria/diarrhea mortalities and whether these differed across SE-classes in an urban area in a low income country. Proportional mortality rates, computed from 24716 reported death records, collected from Accra over the period 1998-2002 were compared with area-based socioeconomic data in multivariate linear regression analyses in an ecological study design. While malaria mortality showed strong evidence of significant differences across the SE-quintiles (Mean PMR fd = 0.030; 95% CI = 0.010 0.049 p = 0.0008), no such differences in diarrhea mortality were observed (Mean PMR fd = 0.027; 95% CI = 0.014 0.040; p = 0.288). Analyses showed weaker associations between area-based SE-conditions and diarrhea mortality than that observed for malaria mortality. We conclude that all age urban malaria mortalities were more sensitive to changing area-based SE-conditions than diarrhea mortalities suggesting perhaps that social interventions were more effective in diarrhea control compared to malaria.
    International Journal of Tropical Medicine 01/2012; 7(1):6-16. DOI:10.3923/ijtmed.2012.6.16
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