Africa has a disproportionately high rate of poverty. high burdenCholera. According to the World Health Organization, between 40 million and 80 million people in Africa live in cholera hotspots. Globally, the number of disease outbreaks has more than tripled from 1980 to 2017, with 1,307 epidemics occurring between 2011 and 2017. Cholera was the most common. biggest contributorThis is possible with 308 events.
This is especially worrying, as cholera is often not reported.
Cholera is associated with high poverty and poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. More than a third of people still don’t have access to water in central and west Africa and less than 40% have adequate sanitation, according to UNICEF.
This inaction has grave consequences for children and women. Cholera is a major cause of child mortality. Young girls and young women are also responsible to collect water, which reduces their time for education or work and increases the risk of sexual violence.
In a recent paperI studied drought-related cholera outbreaks across Africa and the implications of an increase of dry periods as a consequence of climate change. My researchThis article focuses on infectious diseases, including Cholera, which has many connections and relationships to droughts.
Because droughts are a natural hazard that is often overlooked, I chose to focus on this topic. This could be because of their complexity, which includes meteorological, agricultural, and sociological changes. I attempted to collect historical information on drought-related events and identify the regions that reported them. Although there was not much literature on the subject, I discovered several inequalities that needed to be addressed in order to better support drought-affected communities, including food and water assistance.
Climate change and Cholera
The result of a warming planet is prolonged dry spells, and prolonged periods of drought. A known consequence of droughts and the associated risk factors is infectious disease outbreaks. These are made worse by malnutrition, poor water access, sanitation and hygiene, and displacement of people.
These are the perfect conditions for a spike in cholera cases.
It’s hard to predict where future droughts will happen. But available evidence suggestsSome areas in Africa will experience more severe and prolonged droughts than others. How intense and long they last will depend on how countries respond and manage water.
Droughts can increase the transmission of cholera through several mechanisms, including increased concentrations of the pathogen, multipurpose drinking water, reduced fuel consumption, and the use of alternative foods and water.
Cholera has been associated with climate change and the environment. But there are other. research These may not be very important beyond a certain threshold. Then socio-economic conditions must be met to ensure the human-environment relationship.
EvidenceThis is evident in areas that are affected by cholera outbreaks due to climatological events. Europe and North America, for example, have a long history with droughts and dry spells. However, cholera outbreaks are not a common occurrence. This is because there are many people who have access to safe drinking waters and sanitation.
Droughts or cholera epidemics can also lead to displacement, which is often cited by infectious disease experts as a cause of disease outbreaks. Cholera spreads to new places through displacement. For example, during the Mozambican droughtIn 1991-1992, more than one million people were forced from their homes to seek refuge in other countries. This led to an influx in refugees to Zimbabwe. subsequently sufferedA fast-moving cholera epidemic.
Nomadic communities and poorer rural communities are two other populations that suffer in drought times. This is due their dependence on agriculture, inability of affording alternative water sources, isolation from society.
I conclude in my paper that disasters don’t cause outbreaks. It is the societal response to these disasters, or lack thereof.
The best way to reduce the impact of drought and cholera outbreaks is to address population vulnerability before the hazard occurs. These steps include:
Expanding access to water and sanitation
To alleviate poverty,
Reducing the marginalization of groups.
This would allow people adapt better to a changing environment.
Multi-country drought response plans and water deals are also required. A country’s management of a water source can have a knock on effect, and drought rarely affects just one country.
Cholera outbreaks are rare and need to be dealt with quickly due to their short incubation time – between 2 hours and 5 days.
Oral cholera vaccinations are essential tools in controlling outbreaks and providing chlorinated water.
We need to be more aware of the effects of drought on our health. This includes enhanced research, technology and forecasting to assess our health using an inter-disciplinary lens. Better drought diplomacy involves using drought-related activities in order to create fresh diplomatic opportunitiesTo improve the ability to deal with and offer effective solutions, cooperation is more important than conflict.
Climate adaptation talks and negotiations should also involve communities.
Current cholera pandemicThere are no signs of it waning and they remain unlikely, even though so many people live under conditions that allow for its transmission. These issues will only get worse with climate change. It is imperative that we make a greater effort to fulfill the basic human right to water and sanitation.