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Climatic and Socio-Economic Influences on Malaria and Cholera Risks in the Lake Victoria Region of Tanzania

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dc.contributor.author Yanda, P. Z
dc.contributor.author Kangalawe, R. Y. M
dc.contributor.author Sigalla, R. J
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-31T13:21:02Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-31T13:21:02Z
dc.date.issued 2005-06
dc.identifier.uri http://www.taccire.sua.ac.tz/handle/123456789/389
dc.description.abstract This paper examines the relationships between socio-economic characteristics, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate-induced malaria and cholera in the Lake Victoria region, Tanzania. It focuses on the Biharamulo and Muleba Districts of the Kagera Region, located in the northwestern part of the country. The paper also aims at informing policy-making in response to climate change that is related to malaria and cholera. A variety of methods were employed in the collection and analysis of data for this study, including collection of secondary data, participatory discussions and stakeholder workshops, household interviews, and field observations. Data analysis was undertaken using the SPSS software. A random sample of 300 households was interviewed, 150 from each of the two villages (Bugarama and Chato), representing malaria and cholera case studies respectively. Interviews were undertaken with the heads of households. However, where other members of the household were present they were free to contribute. We selected these two villages because they are in areas with conditions suitable for studying highland malaria and cholera, respectively. It has been established that the vulnerability and impact of climate change-induced malaria and cholera are influenced by the socioeconomic characteristics of the different communities. Findings from this study show that the majority of respondents had similar perceptions regarding the causes and seriousness of malaria, factors that influence its severity, and how the disease can be controlled or treated, regardless of their levels of education or wealth. Furthermore, there is no clear correlation between the presence of stagnant water and the number of household members hospitalised due to malaria. These findings suggest that occurrence of malaria is associated with multiple factors beyond terrain features, including climate variability. The importance of climate variability on disease outbreak is revealed by the local understanding of the periods with malaria and cholera outbreaks. It is understood in the study area that there are more pronounced malaria and cholera outbreaks during periods with above-average rainfall. The study found that women, children, and the elderly are more vulnerable to malaria. Lack of insecticide treated bednets contributes to this vulnerability. Although more households are using bednets, they are often unable to afford enough of them for the entire household, due to large families and low incomes. Women and children are also exposed to mosquito bites while weeding bean fields. Men, who were reported by participants to spend much of the evening away from home and only return late at night, are less exposed to mosquito bites, and consequently less vulnerable to malaria. Many people use local herbs for the disease, which appears to be a crucial adaptation strategy, particularly given the high poverty level in the area. As for cholera, disease outbreaks were associated with unusually wet seasons. This was attributed to above-average rainfall during the wet seasons, when many toilets flood or collapse because of the sandiness of the soils. This caused the waste from the toilets to leak into the surroundings and often ending up in water bodies, such as the lake. Such waste can spread cholera organisms. Outbreaks were also associated with not using toilets and poor disposal of other wastes. Despite the fact that only a few households reportedly encountered cholera during the last outbreaks, it was evident that many people are vulnerable because of drinking untreated water. It was also evident that the community does not have adequate adaptation mechanisms for cholera. This situation calls for rigorous community health education. en_GB
dc.description.sponsorship START, the Third World Academy of Sciences, and the UN Environment Programme en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher AIACC Working Papers en_GB
dc.relation.ispartofseries AIACC Working Paper;12
dc.subject climate, socio-economic, cholera, Tanzania en_GB
dc.title Climatic and Socio-Economic Influences on Malaria and Cholera Risks in the Lake Victoria Region of Tanzania en_GB
dc.type Working Paper en_GB

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