Article

Seasonal hazards and health risks in lower-income countries: field testing a multi-disciplinary approach

University of East Anglia, UK.
Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 2.71). 12/2009; 8 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S16. DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-8-S1-S16
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Understanding how risks to human health change as a result of seasonal variations in environmental conditions is likely to become of increasing importance in the context of climatic change, especially in lower-income countries. A multi-disciplinary approach can be a useful tool for improving understanding, particularly in situations where existing data resources are limited but the environmental health implications of seasonal hazards may be high. This short article describes a multi-disciplinary approach combining analysis of changes in levels of environmental contamination, seasonal variations in disease incidence and a social scientific analysis of health behaviour. The methodology was field-tested in a peri-urban environment in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, where poor households face alternate seasonal extremes in the local environment as the water level in the Delta changes from flood to dry season. Low-income households in the research sites rely on river water for domestic uses, including provision of drinking water, and it is commonly perceived that the seasonal changes alter risk from diarrhoeal diseases and other diseases associated with contamination of water. The discussion focuses on the implementation of the methodology in the field, and draws lessons from the research process that can help in refining and developing the approach for application in other locations where seasonal dynamics of disease risk may have important consequences for public health.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
117 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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; 2011:484010. DOI:10.1155/2011/484010
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format

Preview (2 Sources)

Download
2 Downloads
Available from