CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND MALARIA INCIDENCE IN PERI-URBAN, URBAN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES AROUND KUMASI, GHANA: A CASE STUDY AT THREE HEALTH FACILITIES; EMENA, ATONSU AND AKROPONG
Background: Changes in temperature, rainfall and relative humidity due to climate change are expected to directly influence malaria transmission dynamics, by modifying the behavior and geographical distribution of malaria vectors while shortening the sporogonic cycle of the parasite in the vector. These changes will have varying effects on malaria incidence in different eco-epidemiological settings. The aim was to examine the impact of climate variability on malaria incidence in three micro-epidemiological ecosystems in the forest zone of Ghana, Ashanti Region. Methods: Data on climatic variables (rainfall, temperature and humidity) from January 2008 to- October 2009 were obtained from the two weather stations. Hospital based confirmed malaria incidence data were obtained for the same period from Akropong (rural) hospital whereas malaria incidence data were obtained from January 2008-June 2009 and January 2008-August 2009 for Emena (peri-urban) and Atonsu (urban) hospitals respectively. Microscopy was used to identify the predominant Plasmodium species. Spearman’s correla-tion analysis and cross correlation analysis that allowed a time-lag of 0-3 month were performed to examine the role of climatic variables on malaria incidence. Results: There was a direct correlation between monthly malaria incidence and monthly climatic variables at different time-lags and location. At every study site, different climatic variables were seen to play different roles on the occurrence of malaria. At Akropong and Emena, the study indicates that rainfall and minimum temperature are the major drivers of malaria incidence though this relationship was significant at different time-lags in different eco-epidemiological settings. At Atonsu, the study indicates that rainfall and maximum tem-perature are the major contributors to malaria incidence. Conclusion: Climatic variables have direct and indirect influence on malaria incidence and these variables can predict malaria inci-dence and be suited for forecasting the malaria occurrence in areas with similar ecological features in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
An article published by Bioinfo Publications
Climate variability, malaria, Plasmodium species
Tay S.C.K., et al. (2012) Climate Variability and Malaria Incidence in Peri-urban, Urban and Rural Communities Around Kumasi, Ghana: A Case Study at Three Health Facilities; Emena, Atonsu and Akropong. International Journal of Parasitology Research, ISSN: 0975-3702 & E-ISSN: 0975-9182, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.-83-89.