Title: Effects of regional climate variability on the prevalence of diseases and their economic impacts on households in the Lake Victoria basin of Western Kenya

Authors: Ayub Victor Opiyo Ofulla; Samuel Kerunyu Gichere; Geoffrey Oduasi Olado; Paul Otieno Abuom; Douglas Nyambane Anyona; Doreen Maloba Othero; Ally-Said Matano; Frank Bailey Gelder; Gabriel Owino Dida; Collins Ouma; Philip Okinda Owuor; Jairus Boston Amayi; Canisius Kabungo Kanangire

Addresses: School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' School of Business and Economics, Maseno University, P.O. Box 333, Maseno, Kenya ' School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' Lake Victoria Basin Commission Secretariat, P.O. Box 1510, Kisumu, Kenya ' Lake Victoria Basin Commission Secretariat, P.O. Box 1510, Kisumu, Kenya ' Probe International, Inc., Ohio, USA and Auckland, P.O. Box 54015, The Marina, 2144, Auckland, New Zealand ' School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, P.O. Box, 333 Maseno, Kenya ' Department of Chemistry, Maseno University, P.O. Box 333, Maseno, Kenya ' School of Business and Economics, Murang'a University College, P.O. Box 75-10200, Murang'a, Kenya ' Lake Victoria Basin Commission Secretariat, P.O. Box 1510, Kisumu, Kenya

Abstract: Climate variability has a strong influence on disease prevalence and subsequently on economic wellbeing of the affected households. In this study, six regions were selected and clustered into three groups based on their climatic conditions as follows: areas prone to droughts, floods and those with relatively good weather. Respondents were interviewed and the effects of prevailing climatic conditions on the prevalence of diseases established. Malaria, respiratory tract infection, typhoid, pneumonia and diarrhoea were the major diseases among the Lake Victoria basin residents. The annual disease frequency per household was highest in Budalang'li, a flood prone region; and lowest in Bomet, a region with relatively good weather. The findings reveal the often unseen subtle effects of adverse climatic conditions on economically vulnerable communities in the Lake Victoria basin (LVB) and elsewhere, and recommends flood/drought prevention and mitigation strategies and awareness creation to better cope with the adverse climatic events.

Keywords: disease prevalence; economic impact; climate variability; households; Kenya; Lake Victoria basin; regional variability; economic wellbeing; droughts; floods; good weather; malaria; respiratory tract infections; typhoid; pneumonia; diarrhoea; public awareness; economic vulnerability; major diseases.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2016.077899

International Journal of Global Warming, 2016 Vol.10 No.1/2/3, pp.332 - 353

Received: 08 Jul 2014
Accepted: 22 Oct 2014

Published online: 20 Jul 2016 *

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