The environment plays a powerful role in the transmission of infectious diseases, including vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and human African trypanosomiasis. It is therefore of huge significance to public health strategies around the world. Two particularly important aspects are socio-ecological systems and climate change.
Growing evidence suggests that climate change will have substantial impact on already vulnerable populations. For instance, changes such as increased rainfall can affect African drylands and so increase the burden of water-related vector-borne diseases in areas already susceptible to poverty.
Research to improve our understanding of environmental drivers of infectious disease can lead to improved vector control measures and disease prevention. Research also needs to explore how policies of health, environment and development can best be aligned – since many vector control and disease prevention measures require action by sectors such as water, agriculture and sanitation – areas outside of the traditional domain of health services.
TDR related research
Most of TDR’s work that relates to the environment is carried out by TDR’s vectors, environment and society unit
Specific research projects:
- Environmental climate change impact
- Reducing the transmission of dengue and Chagas disease
The TDR think tank
TDR alumni profile: Vector control in India
TDR environmental health research presented at health and climate colloquium
Climate information for improving health outcomes
Planning for new health and environment research in the east
Research priorities for the environment, agriculture and infectious diseases of poverty
Adaptation to social, environmental and climate change impacts on vector-borne diseases
Global Report for Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Watch these videos on an environmental and social approach to controlling vector-borne diseases.
- Preventing malaria and schistosomiasis due to climate change in Cote d’Ivoire
- Climate change research to prevent sleeping sickness outbreaks in Tanzania
- Preventing dengue in Uruguay
- Research on community and environmental approaches to control dengue in Brazil
- Reducing dengue in Colombia
- Chagas disease in Bolivia
- Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s (2014)
- Healthy hospitals, healthy planet, healthy people: Addressing climate change in healthcare settings (2009)
- Climate change and human health: risks and responses (2003)
- Other WHO publications on global environmental change