Burden of climate change on malaria mortality

Burden of climate change on malaria mortality

In 2016, an estimated 445,000 deaths and 216 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, while 70% of the deaths occurred in children under five years old. Changes in climatic exposures such as temperature and precipitation make malaria one of the most climate sensitive outcomes. Using a global malaria mortality dataset for 105 countries between 1980 and 2010, we find a non-linear relationship between temperature and malaria mortality and estimate that the global optimal temperature threshold beyond which all-age malaria mortality increases is 20.8 °C, while in the case of child mortality; a significantly lower optimum temperature of 19.3° is estimated. Our results also suggest that this optimal temperature is 28.4 °C and 26.3 °C in Africa and Asia, respectively – the continents where malaria is most prevalent. Furthermore, we estimate that child mortality (ages 0–4) is likely to increase by up to 20% in some areas due to climate change by the end of the 21st century.

 

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