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Impact of climate change on children's health in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Thompson AA, Matamale L, Kharidza SD - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2012)

Bottom Line: The results show that the most prevalent diseases were diarrhea (42.4%), followed by respiratory infection (31.3%), asthma (6.6%) and malaria (6.5%).Mortality rate was higher for males (54.2%).Similarly rainfall decreased over time in all the cities, with r ranging from -0.02 for Bela Bela to r = 0.18 for Makhado.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou, 0950, Limpopo, South Africa. thompson.adeboyejo@univen.ac.za

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the impact of climate change on children's health, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Twenty one years climatic data were collected to analyse climatic conditions in the province. The study also employs 12 years hospital records of clinically diagnosed climate-related ailments among children under 13 years to examine the incidence, spatio-temporal, age and sex variations of the diseases. Regression analysis was employed to examine the relationships between climatic parameters and incidence of diseases and also to predict distribution of disease by 2050. The results show that the most prevalent diseases were diarrhea (42.4%), followed by respiratory infection (31.3%), asthma (6.6%) and malaria (6.5%). The incidence varied within city, with the high density areas recording the highest proportion (76.7%), followed by the medium (9.4%) and low (2.5%) density residential areas. The most tropical location, Mussina, had the highest incidence of the most prevalent disease, diarrhea, with 59.4%. Mortality rate was higher for males (54.2%). Analysis of 21 years of climatic data show that maximum temperature is positively correlated with years in four cities with r coefficients of 0.50; 0.56, 0.48 and 0.02, thereby indicating local warming. Similarly rainfall decreased over time in all the cities, with r ranging from -0.02 for Bela Bela to r = 0.18 for Makhado. Results of the regression analysis show that 37.9% of disease incidence is accounted for by the combined influence of temperature and rainfall.

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Relationship between age and incidence of disease.
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ijerph-09-00831-f007: Relationship between age and incidence of disease.

Mentions: Figure 7 shows the age specific incidence of five most prevalent diseases among the children. It is crystal clear that ages 1 to 2 years were more susceptible than other ages in all the five most prevalent cases. Thus this age group is considered very critical as far as climate change related diseases, particularly diarrhea, respiratory infection, meningitis and malaria. However, the result of Pearson correlation between the ages and incidence of the five disease shows that, malaria, asthma and meningitis respectively with r = 0.537, 0.364 and 0.073 are positively correlated with age. This implies that the older a child is, the more susceptible it is to malaria, asthma and meningitis. This is to be expected since older children spend more time than the younger children, outside the home environment in the street or neighbourhood for play and other outdoor activities and are thus exposed to the vagaries of weather. On the other hand, diarrhea and respiratory infection, each with r = −0.245 and −0.205, have a negative correlation with age. In the case of diarrhea, this is to be expected since older children tend to show greater sense of responsibility in the area of environmental hygiene than the younger ones, while higher incidence of respiratory infection among the younger children may be due to lower immunity against airborne pathogens which causes the infection.


Impact of climate change on children's health in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Thompson AA, Matamale L, Kharidza SD - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2012)

Relationship between age and incidence of disease.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3367281&req=5

ijerph-09-00831-f007: Relationship between age and incidence of disease.
Mentions: Figure 7 shows the age specific incidence of five most prevalent diseases among the children. It is crystal clear that ages 1 to 2 years were more susceptible than other ages in all the five most prevalent cases. Thus this age group is considered very critical as far as climate change related diseases, particularly diarrhea, respiratory infection, meningitis and malaria. However, the result of Pearson correlation between the ages and incidence of the five disease shows that, malaria, asthma and meningitis respectively with r = 0.537, 0.364 and 0.073 are positively correlated with age. This implies that the older a child is, the more susceptible it is to malaria, asthma and meningitis. This is to be expected since older children spend more time than the younger children, outside the home environment in the street or neighbourhood for play and other outdoor activities and are thus exposed to the vagaries of weather. On the other hand, diarrhea and respiratory infection, each with r = −0.245 and −0.205, have a negative correlation with age. In the case of diarrhea, this is to be expected since older children tend to show greater sense of responsibility in the area of environmental hygiene than the younger ones, while higher incidence of respiratory infection among the younger children may be due to lower immunity against airborne pathogens which causes the infection.

Bottom Line: The results show that the most prevalent diseases were diarrhea (42.4%), followed by respiratory infection (31.3%), asthma (6.6%) and malaria (6.5%).Mortality rate was higher for males (54.2%).Similarly rainfall decreased over time in all the cities, with r ranging from -0.02 for Bela Bela to r = 0.18 for Makhado.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou, 0950, Limpopo, South Africa. thompson.adeboyejo@univen.ac.za

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the impact of climate change on children's health, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Twenty one years climatic data were collected to analyse climatic conditions in the province. The study also employs 12 years hospital records of clinically diagnosed climate-related ailments among children under 13 years to examine the incidence, spatio-temporal, age and sex variations of the diseases. Regression analysis was employed to examine the relationships between climatic parameters and incidence of diseases and also to predict distribution of disease by 2050. The results show that the most prevalent diseases were diarrhea (42.4%), followed by respiratory infection (31.3%), asthma (6.6%) and malaria (6.5%). The incidence varied within city, with the high density areas recording the highest proportion (76.7%), followed by the medium (9.4%) and low (2.5%) density residential areas. The most tropical location, Mussina, had the highest incidence of the most prevalent disease, diarrhea, with 59.4%. Mortality rate was higher for males (54.2%). Analysis of 21 years of climatic data show that maximum temperature is positively correlated with years in four cities with r coefficients of 0.50; 0.56, 0.48 and 0.02, thereby indicating local warming. Similarly rainfall decreased over time in all the cities, with r ranging from -0.02 for Bela Bela to r = 0.18 for Makhado. Results of the regression analysis show that 37.9% of disease incidence is accounted for by the combined influence of temperature and rainfall.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus