Infectious disease, development, and climate change: a scenario analysis
We study the effects of development and climate change on infectious disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. Infant mortality and infectious disease are close related, but there are better data for the former. In an international cross-section, per capita income, literacy, and absolute poverty significantly affect infant mortality. We use scenarios of these three determinants, and of climate change to project the future incidence of malaria, assuming it to change proportionally to infant mortality. Malaria deaths will first increase, because of population growth and climate change, but then fall, because of development. This pattern is robust to the choice of scenario, parameters, and starting conditions; and it holds for diarrhoea, schistosomiasis, and dengue fever as well. However, the time and level of the mortality peak is very sensitive to assumptions. Climate change is important in the medium term, but dominated in the long term by development. As climate can only be changed with a substantial delay, development is the preferred strategy to reduced infectious diseases, even if that is exacerbated by climate change.
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Volume (Year): 12 (2007)
Issue (Month): 05 (October)
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