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Climate change, health and mosquito borne disease Professor Pat Dale Griffith School of Environment & Centre for Innovative Conservation Strategies Griffith.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate change, health and mosquito borne disease Professor Pat Dale Griffith School of Environment & Centre for Innovative Conservation Strategies Griffith."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Climate change, health and mosquito borne disease Professor Pat Dale Griffith School of Environment & Centre for Innovative Conservation Strategies Griffith University Australia

3 Outline Climate change: research amount since 1984 Outline of climate change scenarios Health impacts: global view Health impacts: some Australian issues What can be done? Capacity building to combat climate change health impacts

4 Climate change research published since 1984

5 Climate change scenarios In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the 4th assessment report, concluding that: There is definite warming of the climate system It is very likely that changes will continue well into the future, and that they will be larger than those seen in the recent past. The changes have the potential to have a major impact on human health and natural systems throughout the world.

6 Summary scenarios Temperature changes Rainfall changes Sea level changes Extreme events increase

7 At a global scale: Observed: average near-surface temperatures (black). Modelled : 58 simulations driven by both natural and human-caused factors (yellow). The average of all these simulations (red line). Randall & Chan (2007) There have already been temperature changes Caused by humans?

8 Hotter?

9 Wet? Dry? Extreme events? Cyclones? Drought?

10 Extreme events: Jakarta Floods?

11 Health impacts Health impacts are many, including: Effects of food shortages? (drought, flood) Effects of heat stress? And changes to disease distribution…….

12 Health impacts e.g.,Dengue Diarrhea

13 Predictions from the literature for vector-borne diseases (based on the review by Githeko et al. 2000) Githeko, A.K., Lindasay, S.W., Confalonieri, U.E. and Patz, J.A, Climate change and vector-borne diseases: a regional analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 78(9):

14 Rest of the world

15 Climate change and mosquito borne disease? Warmer: more rapid development of mosquitoes and disease transmission Drier: more water storage -> potential risk of more mosquitoes Wetter: more water and potentially more mosquito and other water borne disease habitats Increased variability (extreme events): variability has been shown to be related to Ross River virus. ( Inter-university research Tong, Naish, Hu, Nicholls, Dale, Wolff, McMichael, Lindsay, Mackenzie, 2004)

16 Climate change and mosquito-borne disease Climate is one of many variables that affect mosquito-borne disease incidence

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18 Australian government view 2006 Mosquito-borne disease At the local level ….. “climate change may affect … the local Region…. perhaps causing the southward spread of pests and diseases previously limited to tropical areas.”

19 An Australian mosquito borne disease:Ross River virus Rates/100, NT 132 QLD 66 WA 39 NSW 18 SA 20 Tas 3 VIC 4 AUS TOTAL 26 Tropical/ subtropical Each Ross River virus case costs over $2000 (Griffith University research)

20 Effect of mosquito control strategies Tomerini et al. (under review) Public health benefits of mosquito control: the case of Ross River virus disease in Queensland, Australia.

21 Other diseases that are less common in Australia Dengue - will it move south? Encephalitis - will it spread? Will there be local transmission of other diseases that are absent - we have the mosquito vectors? Filariasis Japanese encephalitis Malaria

22 There may also be changes in habitats that may affect ecosystem health … ecosystem health underlies the health of all life

23 For example: sea level rise? Mosquito egg laying sites Sea level rising ?? Sea level rise: will change salt marsh and mangrove patterns or both (and mosquito habitats) (Griffith University and QIMR research, Dale, Knight, Kay, Chapman, Brown, 2007)

24 What can we do? We cannot prevent climate change. We should avoid actions that make it worse e.g, by careful constructed wetland design, water tanks. We can have an adaptive plan and resources to deal with expanding diseases. Our existing infrastructure needs to be prepared to deal with emerging diseases…..

25 The bigger picture Disease may increase, BUT ALSO The poorest people will suffer the most (as they have limited resources) So: we need to adjust to climate change--> capacity building

26 Capacity building Key Objectives are to: Identify baseline information Identify information gaps = priority research needs Assess major factors affecting vulnerability to climate change Identify adaptation strategies Evaluate policy implications and make recommendations Implement recommendations

27 General model to address climate change effects on health

28 What we are doing at Griffith University

29 Professor Ian O’Connor Vice Chancellor, Griffith University “The Griffith University Climate Change Response Program will use Griffith’s famed interdisciplinary approach and long-standing environmental record to research and develop practical tools to respond to the multiple impacts of climate change.

30 Indonesia has a major role Globe Nov 2007

31 Summary Climate change research since 1984: recent large increase. Outline of climate change scenarios: temperature, rain and exteme events. Health impacts - global view: malaria is likely to increase and emerge in new areas. Health impacts - Australian issues: will the health system mitigate any impacts? What can be done? Capacity building to combat climate change health impacts: need for strategy.

32 Thank you!


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