Climate Change and Rural Child Health: A Review of the Evidence

Angela Baschieri, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Sari Kovats, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Children, representing a third of the world’s population, are amongst the most vulnerable to climate change (IPCC, 2007). There have been several published reviews on this topic but none have evaluated the scientific evidence in a systematic way. The evidence base for direct “climate” effects on population health is slowly expanding, particularly regarding the role of weather events and climate variability on key causes of child mortality: malaria, diarrhoea and undernutrition. However, due to the complexity of the pathways of effects between climate and child health there is a dearth of studies that provide a comprehensive framework to study this important development issue. This paper outlines the conceptual framework for analyzing how climate change likely affects child health considering both direct and indirect mechanisms and reviews the best available evidence from a range of disciplines (epidemiology, public health, integrated assessment, demography, climate science).

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Presented in Session 65: Global Climate Change and Health/Mortality Consequences