Too Much Rain, Too Little Rain: Impacts of Climate Variability on Child and Adult Health in Sub-Saharan Africa
Anna Dimitrova, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU)
Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU)
Chronic seasonal crop and livestock loss due to heat stress and rainfall shortages can pose a serious threat to health, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where subsistence and small-scale farming dominate. Apart from inconclusive evidence, little is known about the differential impacts of climatic shocks on health of population subgroups. This study aims to analyse the impacts of climate variability on health using Demographic and Health Surveys. Health is measured as: 1) stunting and wasting for children aged under 5; and 2) body mass index (BMI) for adults aged 15-59. Measures of climatic shocks include precipitation and temperature anomalies. The analysis was done for Ethiopia (2000, 2005, 2011 and 2016), and we are expanding to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our preliminary findings show a negative relationship between rainfall and stunting and wasting; and low BMI among adults. The climate impacts vary with population subgroups whereby girls and children whose mother has lower level of education and living in the rural area are more vulnerable to rainfall shocks.
Session 63: Child and Adolescent Health