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Surveillance and early warning systems for climate-sensitive diseases in Vietnam: Key findings from the Pestforecast project
16/03/18 02:53PM
Hu Suk Lee, Hung Nguyen-Viet, Nguyen Viet Khong, Huyen Nguyen Xuan, Vuong Bui Nghia and others. ILRI research brief 85, 2017.

Abstract: Vietnam is a tropical country with high temperatures and precipitation, providing good conditions for climate-sensitive diseases. Given global climate and land use changes, there is a need to determine the distribution and burden of climate-sensitive diseases to improve disease management. Moreover, studies are needed to evaluate people’s perceptions and knowledge of climate-sensitive diseases in Vietnam. Therefore, the Pestforecast project used health and climate secondary datasets to evaluate the seasonality of selected climate-sensitive diseases and other climate risk factors associated with disease incidence. Risk maps were developed to aid surveillance and management. The project also evaluated the prevalence and level of Japanese encephalitis and leptospirosis in pigs and aflatoxins in maize, and perceptions and knowledge of climate-sensitive diseases among people in the study areas. Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogenic substances produced by certain moulds in crops such as maize and groundnuts. There are limited studies on aflatoxicosis in Vietnam. --- We obtained national surveillance data for notifiable infectious diseases in Vietnam from the Ministry of Health for the last 30 years. In addition, meteorological data (precipitation, temperature and humidity) were obtained for the study period. Average incidence rates (per 100,000 people) for viral encephalitis, dengue fever, shigellosis and malaria were calculated monthly and associations with season and other climate risk factors were assessed (Figure 1). The different geographic regions under our studies were found to have different seasonal patterns and trends. Overall, increased incidence rates were observed during the wet season (May–October). There were associations between incidences of these diseases and temperature, humidity and precipitation in Vietnam. Our findings help better understand the geographical and seasonal patterns of diseases as well as the associated climate risk factors in Vietnam. Our studies provide evidence to help public health system planning and can be used by clinicians to improve diagnosis and foresee the timing of outbreaks. They can help raise public awareness during the peak seasons to prevent or reduce further potential outbreaks or onward transmission during an outbreak.

 

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