Malaria

Climate change could spread malaria

Leading environmental scientists say unfavorable weather conditions caused by global climate change could fuel the spread of malaria in areas where it has never been experienced before.

The audio is in IsiZulu. See english summary below.

MABUTHO: Njengoba izinhlangano ezihlukene ngaphansi kwenhlangano yezizwe kubalwa nebhange lomhlaba (World Bank) ngaphansi komkhankankaso wokulwisana nesifo sikamalaleveva owaziwa ngele Roll Out Malaria Partnership, ziphansi phezulu nemizamo yokuthola izimali ezithe xaxa zokulwisana nalesisifo, ochwepheshe kwezesayensi sebexwayise ngokuthi lemizamo ingase ifekele ngenxa yokuthi ukuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni okwaziwa ngele Climate Change kuzoholela ekubhebhethekeni kwalesisifo sikaMalaleveva ngisho nasezindaweni lapho besingekho khona. UDr Pauline Dube ongomunye wososayensi abangaphansi kwe United Nationans Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) nesanda kukhipha umbiko ngemiphumela yokuguquka lwesimo sezulu  ezwenikazi laseAfrica, uthi ukushisa kanye nezimvula kwezinye izindawo okudalwa ukushintsha kwezulu emhlabeni kuzoholela ekubhebhethekeni kukamalelaveva nasezindaweni lapho lesisifo besingekho khona ngenxa yokwanda komiyane abanaleligciwane abatholakala ezindaweni ezifudumele nezinamaxhaphozi.

DR PAULINE DUBE: ‘€œThings like malaria are going to be a major issue. And they may spread beyond the normal zones that we know to the population that is not ready, (but) very vulnerable because they have never been exposed to malaria before,’€ she said.

MABUTHO: Ngakolunye uhlangothi uDr Guy Midgely we South African National Botanical Institute uthi kukhona ukushayisana kwemibono kososayensi ngalendaba yokwanda kukamalaleveva ngenxa yokushintsha kwesimo sezulu njengoba ethi abanye bathi mancane amathuba okuthi ukuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni kungase kube nomthelela ekubhebhethekeni kukamalaleveva ngenxa yezinga eliphezulu lezinhlelo zokulwisana nalesisifo kulesisikhathi.

DR GUY MIDGLEY: There is a lot of debate of what is going to happen to the spread of malaria in the future, that is one of the big areas of debate in the future. Some models suggest that the rate of transmission might increase. Some people feel that the levels of control are so powerful now that malaria can’€™t increase.

MABUTHO: Uthi nakuba kukhona ukushayisana kwemibono kodwa kukhona izinkomba zokuthi ukushisa nokwanda kwezimvula kwezinye izindawo okuhambisana nokuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni kungase kube nomthelela ekubhebhethekeni kukamalaleveva.

DR GUY MIDGLEY: What (climate) models suggest is that as the temperature warms up – and we may have increased rainfall in certain areas – the spread of malaria could increase. It seems possible. So I will be concerned about that.

MABUTHO: Njengoba ososayensi bevumelana ngokuthi kuncane okungenziwa ukulwisana nokuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni ngenxa yokuthi ezinye izinto ezidala lesisimo akuzona ezenziwa ngabantu ezifana nokungcoliswa komoya zinkampani kanye nabantu, bathi indlela engcono yokubhekana nesimo ukuthi kubhekwe izindlela ezingenziwa ukuze abantu bakwazi ukuphila ngaphansi kwalezozimo zezulu ezingezinhle ezidalwa ukuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni. UDr Dube uthi ukuze abantu bakwazi ukumelana nesimo sokushintsha kwezulu kubalulekile ukuthi bakhishwe emaketangweni obubha.

DR PAULINE DUBE: First thing in adaptation is to solve the problem of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity. Then, equiping people, education, the health.  And these are everyday issues. So I would say adaptation in Africa should have been long time started.  

MABUTHO: Ngokwezibalo zophiko lwezempilo enhlanganweni yezizwe, phecelezi iWorld Health Organisation, minyaka yonke abantu abayizigidi ezingamakhulu amathathu kuya kwezingamakhulu ayisihlanu bangenwa isifo sikamalaleveva kuthi abayisigidi bashone. Lokhu kusho ukuthi uma lesisifo sesizofinyelela kwezinye izingxenye zomhlaba ebesingekho kuzona ngenxa yokuguquka kwesimo sezulu emhlabeni lezizibalo zingase zikhule uma kungekho okwenziwayo.

Climate change could spread malaria

Leading environmental scientists say unfavorable weather conditions caused by global climate change could fuel the spread of malaria in areas where it has never been experienced before.

The warning comes at a time when the United Nations’€™ agencies – the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank (WB) – have just embarked on a campaign to secure more funding for malaria grant applications from African countries. The agencies aim to secure finances to fund, at least, 80% of the applications as part of a plan to reduce malaria under the Roll Out Malaria Partnership.

According to Dr Pauline Dube, one of the leading authors of the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fourth assessment report, climate change will increase temperatures in places where mosquitoes previously were unable to breed, and more people will be at risk of contracting malaria.

‘€œThings like malaria are going to be a major issue. And they may spread beyond the normal zones that we know to the population that is not ready, (but) very vulnerable because they have never been exposed to malaria before,’€ she said.

However, Dr Guy Midgley of the South African National Botanical Institute says there is still no consensus among scientists on whether climate change will have any possible effect on the spread of malaria fever.

‘€œThere is a lot of debate of what is going to happen to the spread of malaria in the future. Some models suggest that the rate of transmission might increase. Some people feel that the levels of control are so powerful now that malaria can’€™t increase,’€ he said.

Despite the ongoing debates, Dr Midgley concurs that there is a possibility of the spread of malaria because ‘€œwhat (climate) models suggest is that as the temperature warms up, and we may have increased rainfall in certain areas, the spread of malaria could increase’€.  

Although there is no absolute solution to climate change as some of the causes are not man-made, Dr Dube says the solution lies in finding ways of adapting to the unfriendly environment, which among other things, call for the improvement of peoples’€™ lives.  

First thing in adaptation is to solve the problem of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity. Then, equiping people, education, the health.  And these are everyday issues. So I would say adaptation in Africa should have been long time started.  

At least 300 to 500 million people are infected by malaria, with approximately   one million deaths annually, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).   If warnings about climate change are anything to go by, the numbers are most likely to increase.

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