Speaker: Cristiane Girotto (CEng, BEng (Hons), MRes)
The world has experienced seven pandemics of cholera that infected and killed thousands of people on six continents and, while cholera seems to be contained in many parts of the world, Africa still face major challenges in controlling this disease, the continent has been badly beaten by cholera and concentrates the majority of the reported cases in the last two decades. Some of the most affected areas are in the poorest countries of the Sub-Saharan region, where resources for disease control are scarce. Numerous variables appear to be playing a role in the development and endemicity of cholera; nonetheless, the nature of this relationship is not entirely understood. Therefore, understanding the primary causes of cholera risk increase is important in order to redirect precious and rare resources in the most effective manner. While previous researchers have point out risk factors in other parts of the globe, studies examining shared difficulties in cholera management are sparse in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This study investigated crucial environmental elements consistently cited as contributors on frequency and severity of outbreaks in the Sub-Saharan area. Data from health reports, economics, climate, and living conditions surveys were collected and analysed using descriptive analysis and general linear modelling to better understand the relationship between variables and their contribution to the relative risk of cholera.
The results revealed water and sanitation to be the main areas to be tackled on at least nine of the thirteen countries selected for this study. Temperature is the other factor with significant findings, although the processes by which it increases cholera risks may require more research.
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