Climate change may well impact insect-borne disease, but the exact consequences remain uncertain. How well can scientists predict problems both at the global and regional scale? And what can policymakers do to prepare?
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The health gateway of the Climate Institute, which aims to help policymakers tackle climate change, has detailed notes on the resurgence of infectious diseases through global warming. These include vector-borne diseases spread through mosquitoes, ticks, triatomine bugs, sandflies and blackflies. It also looks at rodent-borne diseases, which are also set to increase as the climate changes — increased heavy rainfall can drive rodents out of their burrows and climate change is set to alter human migration patterns which could bring people into closer contact with rodents.
This partnership of government and non-government organisations, researchers, international bodies and the private sector has a much-called for goal: to increase cooperation between organisations involved different sectors such as health, climate, humanitarian assistance, ecosystems, research and operational services.
The partners collaborate on regional projects to increase capacity within the medical and environmental science communities; use rural communication networks to provide information to remote communities; and enhance the capacity of public-health services to predict and respond quickly to cholera, malaria, meningitis and other climate-sensitive diseases.