A Effects of Climate Change on Malaria Incidence Rates in Selected Districts of Zambia, Over A Seven-Year Period: A Retrospective Study
Keywords:Climate change, Malaria, Ecological human activity, Rainfall, Temperature
Climate change has been projected to have a serious human health impact negatively, in particular the incidences of water related and vector borne diseases, such as malaria. A better understanding of the relationship between atmospheric air temperature, seasonal rainfall patterns and the incidence of malaria cases is thus required for developing effective climate change adaptation strategies involving planning and implementation of appropriate disease control interventions. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of Climate change on malaria incidence rates in selected Ecological District Zones of Zambia, over a six years period. Retrospective analytical comparative study design was used in this research, which employed the use of mixed methods for validation of data on the effect of climate change on occurrence of malaria incidence rates in three Ecological Zones in Zambia. A Linear regression model was used to analysed the data and determine the effect of the atmospheric air temperature, seasonal rainfall pattern and manmade economic activities on malaria incidence rates. The mean annual distribution for confirmed malaria cases over a six year period 2014- 2020 Ecological zone 1 was 64.35, Ecological Zone 2 was 180.48 and Ecological Zone 3 was 581.06. The mean annual distribution for rainfall pattern for Ecological Zone 1 was 550.55 mm, Ecological Zone 2 was 835.39 mm and Ecological Zone 3 was 1072.05 mm. The mean annual distribution for atmospheric air temperature for Ecological Zone 1 was 22.74 oC, Ecological Zone 2 was 19.51 oC and Ecological Zone 3 was 21.57 oC. Seasonal rainfall has a positive effect on malaria incidences (r = 0.418, p= 0.007), and positive correlation. Average atmospheric air temperature have the positive effect on the malaria incidence (p= 0.001). Ecological human economic activities such mining, agriculture, urbanization and charcoal burning has effect on climate change and malaria.