Home » Environment » Climate Change makes children vulnerable to infectious diseases: Study

Climate Change makes children vulnerable to infectious diseases: Study

Scientists have found that climate parameters accounted for 9-18% of the total infectious disease cases in a study to probe the association between climate parameters and infectious diseases in children under 16-years-of-age in Varanasi-city in central Indo-Gangetic Plane.

Climate change driven by anthropogenic activities may challenge the gains in public health over the past many years, particularly in a country like India that ranks high in the list of climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Globally, it is estimated that children are to bear most of the burden of disease due to climate change, with the poorest disproportionately affected. The higher risk associated with children is due to the combination of physiological vulnerability as well as the risk of exposure.

A study was undertaken for the first time over the central Indo-Gangetic Plain region DST-Mahamana Center of Excellence in Climate Change Research, BHU, explored the association between climate parameters and infectious diseases in a three-year follow-up prospective cohort of 461 children under 16-years-of-age in Varanasi city. The research led by R K Mall, including Nidhi Singh, T. Banerjee, and Akhilesh Gupta, have been recently published in a reputed international journal, ‘Science of the Total Environment’.

Accounting for extensive socioeconomic household data and child anthropometric measurements, the researchers established that climate parameters like temperature, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, and wind speed were significantly associated with the infectious diseases– gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, vector-borne diseases, and skin diseases, in children in Varanasi.

Maximum temperature and humidity (absolute/relative) are important climate drivers. This study further added that climate parameters accounted for 9-18% of the total infectious disease cases, while non-climate parameters account for the rest. Upper respiratory tract infection (mostly cold and flu) and gastrointestinal infections (mainly diarrhea) constitute 78% of the disease burden. Socio-economic conditions and child anthropometry modified the climate-disease association with high proportion of children found suffering from stunting, wasting, and underweight conditions.

Findings from this study draw the attention of government and policymakers to prioritize effective measures for child health as the present association may increase disease burden in the future under climate-change scenarios in already malnourished pediatric population through multiple pathways.  The study further inspires and provides a background for more epidemiological studies to provide evidence for future burden of diseases associated with childhood malady.

However, climate change-related health impacts studies, particularly for children in India, is at an early stage. Any attempt to provide the epidemiological evidence association of pediatric health with climate parameters over the poorly investigated region of India will help the policymakers and the government to avert the risk that may arise due to climate change.

a.Description: C:\Users\MCECCR\Dropbox\Nidhi thesis\manuscript\New folder\Fig. 6_final.tif b. 

a. Exposure-response association and b. nutritional Deficiency in children in the study area for different age groups and gender


Publication Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148769.

About IIPnews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Check Also

Climate Change Performance Index

The Climate Change Performance Index 2023 report was released recently and India secured 8th position ...

Plastic recycling targets

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Guidelines on Extended Producer ...

Re-cycling of e-waste

The Government has taken a number of steps to formalise the e-waste recycling sector of ...

A series of reform measures undertaken to promote India’s upcoming drone industry

The Central Government has undertaken a series of reform measures to promote India’s upcoming drone ...

Union Minister Dr Jitendra says, Government proposes to widen the participation of private players in space domain, by allowing them to undertake end-to-end space activities

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth ...

Funds Allocated and Utilised Under National Clean Air Programme

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was launched by the Ministry of Environment Forest &Climate ...

Indian scientists propose multi-sectorial strategies for the prevention and control of pollen allergy

Indian Scientists have suggested that large scale measures like developing pollen forecast systems and training ...

India has a total of 53 operational satellites in space providing various identified services to the nation: Dr Jitendra Singh

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth ...

Status of forest cover in the Country

Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, an organization under the Ministry, carries out the assessment of ...

Forest Survey report 2021 released; increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country in last two years.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, today released the ‘India State ...

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com