‘Critical gaps’ in understanding climate change causing the spread of tropical diseases

World Health Organization (WHO), conducted in collaboration with Reaching the Last Mile (RLM), a global health initiative to eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTD), shows Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns are altering the spread of vector-borne diseasespose significant health risks.

As the geographic spread of disease vectors such as mosquitoes expands, the risk of spreading or reintroducing these diseases to new areas increases. This change will likely have the most severe impact on communities that are already hard hit.

The learn analyzed peer-reviewed articles from January 2010 to October 2023, collecting data on national disease burden, health care access, and health vulnerability scores. climate.

The majority of datasets used focused on malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya, while other NTDs were significantly underrepresented.

Lack of evidence

Only 34% of the reviewed studies (174 studies) addressed mitigation and only 5% (24 studies) considered adaptation, highlights the severe lack of evidence ready to help malaria and NTDs.

Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director of the WHO Global NTD Programme, emphasizes the need to build more comprehensive, collaborative, and standardized models to predict and mitigate the health impacts of climate change.

This important and timely review reveals alarming trends and is an urgent call to action. Malaria transmission is likely to shift both poleward and to higher altitudes, while the mosquito vector of dengue and chikungunya is predicted to continue to expand its range,” she said.

“If we want to protect and build on the hard-won victories of the past two decades, now is the time to mobilize.”

Neglected tropical diseases

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of conditions caused by a variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins.

These include Chagas disease, dengue fever, chikungunya, leprosy, rabies, soil-transmitted worms, snakebite, trachoma and yaws. According to WHO estimates, they affect more than a billion people.


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