Combating Cholera Caused by Climate Change in Bangladesh
Bangladesh (Bg) is one of the most hazard prone countries in the world and is expected to be one of the worst affected by Climate Change (CC). Every year, extreme weather events such as flooding, droughts and cyclones have devastating effects, also impacting on water quality and quantity and sanitation infrastructure. As extreme weather events continue to increase with CC, Bg faces a multitude of adverse health, economic, and livelihood consequences.
Among the projected adverse CC effects in Bg are altered patterns of cholera transmission. Cholera has been endemic in Bg for more than 2000 years and is associated with water and sanitation as well as a number of environmental factors. Consequently, cholera incidence is expected to rise from both environmental responses to CC and less water availability for households.
However, our understanding on how CC impact on cholera and how to mitigate is incomplete. Focusing on water quantity and hygiene, this proposal will apply a new innovative multi-disciplinary methodology to understand CC influence on cholera by identifying the relative risk based on environmental, behavioural, and water resource management factors. We will further investigate community adaptive capacities have in reducing their risk of cholera; how the risk patterns change due to extreme weather events, and how this can help to increase people’s resilience to lessen the burden of the disease both in Bg and other voulnerable areas in low-income countries.
Midterm report 2016:
The study has not found the connection between climate change and cholera and will most likely not do so.
But the C5 study has opened the cholera research field in a new direction by focusing on the household transmission of cholera via kitchen hygiene and also via vectors like flies and food like fish. Hereby diverting from the traditional thinking, that it is the drinking water which is causing the disease. All these are described in papers currently under review and the reporting will therefore be more accurate when the peer review process is completed.
How the C5 project is linked up to our other cholera research has been reported in
Videnskab.dk at the following site: http://videnskab.dk/kultur-samfund/dansk-kolera-lort-fra-1853-kan-give-ny-viden-om-epidemier