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Your Environment. Your Health.

Water-borne diseases and extreme weather events in Cambodia: Review of impacts and implications of climate change

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

Davies GI, McIver L, Kim Y, Hashizume M, Iddings S, Chan V
2014
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 12 (1): 191-213

Cambodia is prone to extreme weather events, especially floods, droughts and typhoons. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of such events. The Cambodian population is highly vulnerable to the impacts of these events due to poverty; malnutrition; agricultural dependence; settlements in flood-prone areas, and public health, governance and technological limitations. Yet little is known about the health impacts of extreme weather events in Cambodia. Given the extremely low adaptive capacity of the population, this is a crucial knowledge gap. A literature review of the health impacts of floods, droughts and typhoons in Cambodia was conducted, with regional and global information reviewed where Cambodia-specific literature was lacking. Water-borne diseases are of particular concern in Cambodia, in the face of extreme weather events and climate change, due to, inter alia, a high pre-existing burden of diseases such as diarrhoeal illness and a lack of improved sanitation infrastructure in rural areas. A time-series analysis under quasi-Poisson distribution was used to evaluate the association between floods and diarrhoeal disease incidence in Cambodian children between 2001 and 2012 in 16 Cambodian provinces. Floods were significantly associated with increased diarrhoeal disease in two provinces, while the analysis conducted suggested a possible protective effect from toilets and piped water. Addressing the specific, local pre-existing vulnerabilities is vital to promoting population health resilience and strengthening adaptive capacity to extreme weather events and climate change in Cambodia.

Expand Collapse Abstract

Resource Description

    Extreme Weather-Related Event or Disaster
    • Extreme Weather-Related Event or Disaster: Drought, Flood, Hurricane
    Non-United States
    • Non-United States: Asia
    Infectious Disease
    • Infectious Disease: Waterborne Disease
    Research Article
    Vulnerable Population
    • Vulnerable Population: General Vulnerable Populations, Children, Low Socioeconomic Status
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