Climate Change/Variability and Schistosomiasis Prevalence in the Ga District, Ghana

Reuben Tete Larbi, University of Ghana

Schistosomiasis prevalence ranges from 2% and 90% in Ghana. Despite the high prevalence and associated effects like anaemia and bladder cancer, there is limited research on the pattern of spread and links to climate change. This paper examined climate variability/change and its effects on schistosomiasis prevalence in an endemic area in Ghana, using mixed methods. The results showed that minimum and maximum temperatures correlated negatively with schistosomiasis (r=-0.717, p<0.05) and (r=-0.631, p<0.05), rainfall (r=0.410, p<0.05) and also rainy days (r=0.263, p>0.05) both correlated positively with schistosomiasis. Also, there was no association between rainfall amount and schistosomiasis (X2=2.098, df=3, p>0.5) and maximum temperature Granger-caused a reduction in schistosomiasis (F=4.31, p<005). Prevalence was high among males and children. The knowledge and perceptions of climate change was consistent with empirical data and that for schistosomiasis was similar to biomedical explanations. Control and preventions interventions were targeted to school children neglecting other vulnerable groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment