Working Paper 104
Andrew K. Githeko, Abdulai Jalloh, Hezron Mogaka
This review examines the state of research on adaptation to climate change in the health sector in the East African region and identifies key research and policy gaps.
The review indicated that it is now generally accepted that some diseases are sensitive to climate change and variability, particularly malaria and Rift Valley fever. However, the health sector has been slow in linking climate change and variability to other diseases, perhaps because of less clear cause-effect relationships. The government led health sector is still operating in the disaster management mode instead of the disaster prevention mode. There is an urgent need for capacity to use climate information and to apply tools such as predictive and spatial models. Stakeholders’ involvement with research and policy is fragmented and lacks coherence. The absence of some key stakeholders such as the World Health Organization (WHO) in addressing climate change concerns in Africa has delayed the process of adaptation in the sector. It is recommended that a solid body of knowledge indicating the relationship between disease epidemiology, climate change and variability should be developed.
This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).