The impact of a variable climate on long-term adverse health effects in Tanzania


Start date: 1 June, 2023 End date: 31 May, 2028 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 23-03-RH Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Climate change, Gender equality, Health, Lead institution: Rigshospitalet (RH), Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark Partner institutions: National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Tanzania Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), Tanzania Tampere University, Finland Project coordinator: Daniel Faurholt-Jepsen Total grant: 9,981,024 DKK

Project summary

Climate change and non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as hypertension, diabetes and mental illness are major problems contributing to unsustainable development. While NCDs are already the leading cause of poor health and premature deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is likely to increase the burden of NCD morbidity and mortality. In Sub-Saharan Africa climate change has both direct and indirect effects on health, but the adaptation capacity for such effects is limited. Further, there are no data to guide development of strategies to prevent against effects of climate change on NCDs.

To improve the health and well-being of low-income populations, we will generate knowledge on the links between climate change and NCDs among women and men; the knowledge will inform governments and development partners on appropriate adaptation policies and practices on NCD prevention and management.

We will investigate the role of climate-driven drought conditions as well as rural-urban migration as causes of the burden of NCDs. In this work, burden of NCDs in areas in Tanzania with evidence of having experienced climate-driven drought will be compared with those not having drought using scientific methods to establish if these potential risk factors indeed increase the risk of NCDs.

Results will be presented in Ministry of Health as well as Ministry Responsible for climate change to help develop policies to help adaptations and mitigations against climate change. In addition, we will present results in conferences and journal articles to help stimulate policy debates on adaptation of climate change to help NCDs prevention.

To build research capacity in climate change and NCDs, we will train 3 PhDs within epidemiology, social sciences and statistics all within climate change and NCDs. We will train postdoctoral fellows and senior researchers in PhD supervision as well as conduct seminars on climate change and health and conduct workshops to teach researchers how to develop competitive research proposals.

This study will be hosted by the Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) and implemented by the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and Tanzania Meteorological Authority in Tanzania in collaboration with Tampere University, University of Southern Denmark, Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Most team members have collaborated for >15 years.

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