Season-smart: A new methodology to apply knowledge of disease seasonality and climate variability to reduce childhood illnesses Mali

Sally E. Findley, Columbia University
Seydou Doumbia, Malaria Research and Training Center
Daniel Medina, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Boubacar Guindo, MRTC
Mahamadou Toure, MRTC
Nafomon Sogoba, Malaria Research and Training Center
Moussa Dembele, Niono DSS
Douada Konate, Niono DSS

In the Sahel, reducing seasonal peaks of malaria, ARI, diarrhoea and measles could reduce early childhood illnesses. We calculated monthly childhood disease consultation rates for children <1 and 1-4 years of age for 3 major childhood illnesses in 6 health districts of Niono, Mali for the period 1995-2004. Fourier spectral analysis confirmed seasonality for all 3 diseases. Linear regression models explained 11-33% of the variance in disease incidence rates. Rainfall influences all three diseases, and temperature influences malaria and ARI incidence. Climate zone location and access to irrigation also moderated disease patterns. Simulated reduction of the seasonal childhood illness peaks cut annual illness consultations for children <1 and for children 1-4 yr saved families between $915 and $2162 per year. We developed a Season-Smart calendar for preventive and curative child health interventions to concentrate disease-specific preventive activities in the most effective time periods preceding seasonal peaks.

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Presented in Session 57: Climate, population, and health