The purpose of this guidance note is to support UNICEF staff in understanding the contextual factors (the practices, behaviours, social norms and wider factors) that shape risks of cholera transmission, being able to separate the social and cultural factors from those that are more structural or systemic.
In 2008, a BBC World Service Trust policy brieﬁng argued that people affected by earthquakes, ﬂoods or other emergencies often lacked the information they needed to survive and that this only added to their stress and anxiety. Left in the Dark: the unmet need for information in humanitarian emergencies maintained that humanitarian agencies were increasingly effective and coordinated in getting food, water, shelter and medical help to people affected by disasters, but were neglecting the need to get often life-saving information to them.
Unquestionably, the biggest single change in the communications sector since the 2008 Left in the Dark paper has been the explosion in access to communications technology among communities affected by disaster. As a result, this is the focus of this paper.
Recent efforts to reinvigorate the connections between urban planning and health have usefully brought the field back to one of its original roles. Current research, however, has focused on industrialized cities, overlooking some of the important urbanization processes in poor countries. This paper describes an emerging ‘health transition’ and the importance of socio-ecological approaches to understanding new health challenges in the developing world and uses the empirical case of Vietnam to examine the development dilemma of new industrial health concerns associated with economic development.
The paper summarizes original qualitative data suggesting that one of the main benefits and rationales of the system is the improvement in public health that it has promoted. Using a related original sample survey (n=200) from 2005, the paper then tests a set of hypotheses about the relationship between illness, connections to the new system, and the role of pollution of natural water sources in illness.
Climate change has major health implications for developing countries but the links are often not well understood. This report describes the current and predicted climate impacts on human health in southern Africa. It presents a view of existing health vulnerabilities to climate change, identifies risks, assesses possible future socioeconomic conditions in relation to future health risks and identifies priorities for action. Climate change affects health in southern Africa principally through the quality and adequacy of water supply, food insecurity, infections organisms and vectors and extreme weather events, largely in that descending order of impact and significance.
The prevalence of HIV/Aids increases the vulnerabilities of individuals and communities. Low levels of progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including poor infrastructure, leaves health systems in southern Africa highly vulnerable and unprepared for the challenges of climate change. Nevertheless, southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers of health and environment are recognising the threats and have adopted a leadership position committing to addressing climate change,
Doctors are concerned that an outbreak of cholera, which began in 2015 and spread throughout east Africa and the Middle East, threatens to worsen with the upcoming rainy season.
In 2008 the Water Research Commission initiated a project to develop ‘Water Sector Institutional Landscape in 2025 Scenarios’. The aim was to build knowledge about key drivers and uncertainties related to the future of the South African water sector. A diverse group of stakeholders contributed to the development of the drivers, which translated into different scenarios and associated stories that have potential implications for social and economic development, as well as for the management of water resources and water services. The four scenarios were derived from a matrix with two axes that represent the ability of the decision-making paradigm of water institutions to deal with complexity, and the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands of present and future generations (sustainability).
The Wise Tortoise scenario describes a sector which deals with complexity and is sensitive to sustainability issues, whereas the Ignorant Ostrich scenario describes the opposite conditions.
Cholera is generally regarded as the prototypical waterborne and environmental disease. In Africa, available studies are scarce, and the relevance of this disease paradigm is questionable. Cholera outbreaks have been repeatedly reported far from the coasts: from 2009 through 2011, three-quarters of all cholera cases in Africa occurred in inland regions. Such outbreaks are either influenced by rainfall and subsequent floods or by drought- and water-induced stress.
Their concurrence with global climatic events has also been observed. In lakes and rivers, aquatic reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae have been evocated. However, the role of these reservoirs in cholera epidemiology has not been established. Starting from inland cholera-endemic areas, epidemics burst and spread to various environments, including crowded slums and refugee camps. Human displacements constitute a major determinant of this spread.
Child undernutrition and flooding are highly prevalent public health issues in many developing countries, yet we have little understanding of preventive strategies for effective coping in these circumstances. Education has been recently highlighted as key to reduce the societal impacts of extreme weather events under climate change, but there is a lack of studies assessing to what extent parental education may prevent post-flood child undernutrition. One year after large floods in 2008, we conducted a two-stage cluster population-based survey of 6–59 months children inhabiting flooded and non-flooded communities of Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha (India), and collected anthropometric measurements on children along with child, parental and household level variables through face-to-face interviews. Using multivariate logistic regression models, we examined separately the effect of maternal and paternal education and other risk factors (mainly income, socio-demographic, and child and mother variables) on stunting and wasting in children from households inhabiting recurrently flooded communities (2006 and 2008;