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  1. Abstract Children (<5 years) are highly vulnerable during hot weather due to their reduced ability to thermoregulate. There has been limited quantification of the burden of climate change on health in sub-Saharan Africa, in part due to a lack of evidence on the impacts of weather extremes on mortality and morbidity. Using a linear threshold model of the relationship between daily temperature and child mortality, we estimated the impact of climate change on annual heat-related child deaths for the current (1995–2020) and future time periods (2020–2050). By 2009, heat-related child mortality was double what it would have been without climate change; this outweighed reductions in heat mortality from improvements associated with development. We estimated future burdens of child mortality for three emission scenarios (SSP119, SSP245 and SSP585), and a single scenario of population growth. Under the high emission scenario (SSP585), including changes to population and mortality rates, heat-related child mortality is projected to double by 2049 compared to 2005–2014. If 2050 temperature increases were kept within the Paris target of 1.5 °C (SSP119 scenario), approximately 4000–6000 child deaths per year could be avoided in Africa. The estimates of future heat-related mortality include the assumption of the significant population growth projectedmore »for Africa, and declines in child mortality consistent with Global Burden of Disease estimates of health improvement. Our findings support the need for urgent mitigation and adaptation measures that are focussed on the health of children.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Introduction: The incidence of diarrhea, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in low-income countries such as Nepal, is temperature-sensitive, suggesting it could be associated with climate change. With climate change fueled increases in the mean and variability of temperature and precipitation, the incidence of water and food-borne diseases are increasing, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This national-level ecological study was undertaken to provide evidence linking weather and climate with diarrhea incidence in Nepal. Method: We analyzed monthly diarrheal disease count and meteorological data from all districts, spanning 15 eco-development regions of Nepal. Meteorological data and monthly data on diarrheal disease were sourced, respectively, from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and Health Management Information System (HMIS) of the Government of Nepal for the period from 2002 to 2014. Time-series log-linear regression models assessed the relationship between maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, and diarrhea burden. Predictors with p-values < 0.25 were retained in the fitted models. Results: Overall, diarrheal disease incidence in Nepal significantly increased with 1 °C increase in mean temperature (4.4%; 95% CI: 3.95, 4.85) and 1 cm increase in rainfall (0.28%; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.41). Seasonal variation of diarrheal incidence was prominent atmore »the national level (11.63% rise in diarrheal cases in summer (95% CI: 4.17, 19.61) and 14.5% decrease in spring (95% CI: −18.81, −10.02) compared to winter season). Moreover, the effects of temperature and rainfall were highest in the mountain region compared to other ecological regions of Nepal. Conclusion: Our study provides empirical evidence linking weather factors and diarrheal disease burden in Nepal. This evidence suggests that additional climate change could increase diarrheal disease incidence across the nation. Mountainous regions are more sensitive to climate variability and consequently the burden of diarrheal diseases. These findings can be utilized to allocate necessary resources and envision a weather-based early warning system for the prevention and control of diarrheal diseases in Nepal.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023