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The health impact of extreme weather events in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Wang, Limin
  • Kanji, Shireen
  • Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit
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    Abstract

    Extreme weather events are known to have serious consequences for human health and are predicted to increase in frequency as a result of climate change. Africa is one of the regions that risks being most seriously affected. This paper quantifies the impact of extreme rainfall and temperature events on the incidence of diarrhea, malnutrition and mortality in young children in Sub-Saharan Africa. The panel data set is constructed from Demographic and Health Surveys for 108 regions from 19 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1992 and 2001 and climate data from the Africa Rainfall and Temperature Evaluation System from 1980 to 2001. The results show that both excess rainfall and extreme temperatures significantly raise the incidence of diarrhea and weight-for-height malnutrition among children under the age of three, but have little impact on the long-term health indicators, including height-for-age malnutrition and the under-five mortality rate. The authors use the results to simulate the additional health cost as a proportion of gross domestic product caused by increased climate variability. The projected health cost of increased diarrhea attributable to climate change in 2020 is in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product in Africa.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4979.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4979

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    Related research

    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Science of Climate Change; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Population Policies; Disease Control&Prevention;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Health, Nutrition and Economic development," Papers 95-23, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    2. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Baltagi, Badi H. & Bresson, Georges & Pirotte, Alain, 2003. "Fixed effects, random effects or Hausman-Taylor?: A pretest estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 361-369, June.
    4. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
    5. Alderman, Harold, 1996. "Saving and economic shocks in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 343-365, December.
    6. Foster, Andrew D, 1995. "Prices, Credit Markets and Child Growth in Low-Income Rural Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 551-70, May.
    7. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1999. "Mortality, education, income and inequality among American cohorts," Working Papers 279, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    8. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
    9. Subbarao, K & Raney, Laura, 1995. "Social Gains from Female Education: A Cross-National Study," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 105-28, October.
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