Understanding Climate Change Impacts in a Cholera Endemic Megacity: Disease Trends, Hydroclimatic Indicators and Near Future-Term Projections

Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 09:15
104 (Moscone South)
Ali S Akanda, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, United States
The last three decades of surveillance data shows a drastic increase of cholera prevalence in the largest cholera-endemic city in the world – Dhaka, Bangladesh. While an endemic trend is getting stronger in the dry season, the post-monsoon season shows increased variability and is epidemic in nature. The pre-monsoon dry season is becoming the dominant cholera season of the year, followed by monsoon flood related propagation in later months of the year. Although the heavily populated and rapidly urbanizing Dhaka region has experienced noticeable shifts in pre monsoon temperature and precipitation patterns and subsequent monsoon variations, to date, there has not been any systematic study on linking the long-term disease trends with observed changes in hydroclimatic indicators. Here, we focus on the past 30-year dynamics of urban cholera prevalence in Dhaka with changes in climatic or anthropogenic forcings to develop projections for the next 30-year period. We focus on the dry and the wet season indicators individually, and develop trends of maximum rainfall intensity, lowest rainfall totals in the pre-monsoon period, number of consecutive dry days, number of wet days, and number of rainy days with greater than 500mm rainfall using a recently developed gridded data product – and compare with regional hydrology, flooding, water usage, changes in distribution systems, population growth and density in urban settlements, and frequency of natural disasters. We then use a bias correction method to develop the next 30 years projections of CMIP5 Regional Climate Model outputs and impacts on cholera prevalence using a probabilistic forecasting approach.