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Your Environment. Your Health.

Addressing vulnerability, building resilience: community-based adaptation to vector-borne diseases in the context of global change

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

Author(s):   Bardosh KL, Ryan SJ, Ebi K, Welburn S, Singer B
Year:   2017
Journal:   Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 6 (1): 166



BACKGROUND: The threat of a rapidly changing planet - of coupled social, environmental and climatic change - pose new conceptual and practical challenges in responding to vector-borne diseases. These include non-linear and uncertain spatial-temporal change dynamics associated with climate, animals, land, water, food, settlement, conflict, ecology and human socio-cultural, economic and political-institutional systems. To date, research efforts have been dominated by disease modeling, which has provided limited practical advice to policymakers and practitioners in developing policies and programmes on the ground. MAIN BODY: In this paper, we provide an alternative biosocial perspective grounded in social science insights, drawing upon concepts of vulnerability, resilience, participation and community-based adaptation. Our analysis was informed by a realist review (provided in the Additional file 2) focused on seven major climate-sensitive vector-borne diseases: malaria, schistosomiasis, dengue, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, chagas disease, and rift valley fever. Here, we situate our analysis of existing community-based interventions within the context of global change processes and the wider social science literature. We identify and discuss best practices and conceptual principles that should guide future community-based efforts to mitigate human vulnerability to vector-borne diseases. We argue that more focused attention and investments are needed in meaningful public participation, appropriate technologies, the strengthening of health systems, sustainable development, wider institutional changes and attention to the social determinants of health, including the drivers of co-infection. CONCLUSION: In order to respond effectively to uncertain future scenarios for vector-borne disease in a changing world, more attention needs to be given to building resilient and equitable systems in the present.

Resource Description

  • Exposure : What is this?

    weather or climate related pathway by which climate change affects health

    Ecosystem Change, Extreme Weather-Related Event/ Weather-Related Disaster, General Exposure, Human Conflict/Displacement, Temperature
  • Temperature: Heat
  • Geographic Location: What is this?

    resource focuses on specific location

    Global or Unspecified Location
  • Health Impact: What is this?

    specification of health effect or disease related to climate change exposure

    Infectious Disease
  • Infectious Disease: Vectorborne Disease
  • Vectorborne Disease: General Vectorborne Disease
  • Resource Type: What is this?

    format or standard characteristic of resource

    Review Article
  • Special Topics: What is this?

    related topics that intersect with those captured in other filters

    Adaptation, Policy, Sociodemographic Vulnerability, Vulnerable Population
  • Adaptation: Intervention, Resilience
  • Vulnerable Population: Low Socioeconomic Status, Racial/Ethnic Subgroup, Specify
  • Racial/Ethnic Subgroup, Specify: Ethnic Minorities
  • Other Vulnerable Population, Specify: Women
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