Data and tools to integrate climate and environmental information into public health

Ceccato, Pietro; Ramirez, Bernadette; Manyangadze, Tawanda; Gwakisa, Paul; Thomson, Madeleine C.

During the last 30 years, the development of geographical information systems and satellites for Earth observation has made important progress in the monitoring of the weather, climate, environmental and anthropogenic factors that influence the reduction or the reemergence of vector-borne diseases. Analyses resulting from the combination of geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing have improved knowledge of climatic, environmental, and biodiversity factors influencing vector-borne diseases (VBDs) such as malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, dengue, Rift Valley fever, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and leptospirosis. These knowledge and products developed using remotely sensed data helped and continue to help decision makers to better allocate limited resources in the fight against VBDs.

Main body
Because VBDs are linked to climate and environment, we present here our experience during the last four years working with the projects under the, World Health Organization (WHO)/ The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR)-International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Research Initiative on VBDs and Climate Change to integrate climate and environmental information into research and decision-making processes. The following sections present the methodology we have developed, which uses remote sensing to monitor climate variability, environmental conditions, and their impacts on the dynamics of infectious diseases. We then show how remotely sensed data can be accessed and evaluated and how they can be integrated into research and decision-making processes for mapping risks, and creating Early Warning Systems, using two examples from the WHO TDR projects based on schistosomiasis analysis in South Africa and Trypanosomiasis in Tanzania.

The tools presented in this article have been successfully used by the projects under the WHO/TDR-IDRC Research Initiative on VBDs and Climate Change. Combined with capacity building, they are an important piece of work which can significantly contribute to the goals of WHO Global Vector Control Response and to the Sustainable Development Goals especially those on health and climate action.


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Also Published In

Infectious Diseases of Poverty

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Earth Institute
Published Here
March 27, 2019


Climate and environmental information, Data, Access, Tools, Geographical information system, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Trypanosomiasis