Temperature variability and occurrence of diarrhoea in children under five-years-old in Cape Town Metropolitan Sub-Districts

Musengimana, Gentille ; Mukinda, Fidele K. ; Machekano, Roderick ; Mahomed, Hassan (2016)

CITATION: Musengimana, G., et al. 2016. Temperature variability and occurrence of diarrhoea in children under five-years-old in Cape Town Metropolitan Sub-Districts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(9):1-12, doi:10.3390/ijerph13090859.

The original publication is available at www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

Article

This paper describes the relationship between temperature change and diarrhoea in under five-year-old children in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area (CTMA) of South Africa. The study used climatic and aggregated surveillance diarrhoea incidence data of two peak periods of seven months each over two consecutive years. A Poisson regression model and a lagged Poisson model with autocorrelation was performed to test the relationship between climatic parameters (minimum and maximum temperature) and incidence of diarrhoea. In total, 58,617 cases of diarrhoea occurred in the CTMA, which is equivalent to 8.60 cases per 100 population under five years old for the study period. The mixed effect overdispersed Poisson model showed that a cluster adjusted effect of an increase of 5 °C in minimum and maximum temperature results in a 40% (Incidence risk ratio IRR: 1.39, 95% CI 1.31–1.48) and 32% (IRR: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.22–1.41) increase in incident cases of diarrhoea, respectively, for the two periods studied. Autocorrelation of one-week lag (Autocorrelation AC 1) indicated that a 5 °C increase in minimum and maximum temperature led to 15% (IRR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.09–1.20) and 6% (IRR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01–1.12) increase in diarrhoea cases, respectively. In conclusion, there was an association between an increase in minimum and maximum temperature, and the rate at which diarrhoea affected children under the age of five years old in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area. This finding may have implications for the effects of global warming and requires further investigation.

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