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Regional Sustainability

Abstract

This study examined the impact of climate change on the occurrence of malaria, pneumonia, meningitis, and cholera in Lokoja City, Nigeria, with the aim of investigating the spatial distribution and prevalence of the four kinds of diseases as well as the coping strategies of people in the area. We collected the rainfall and temperature data of Lokoja City during 2000–2020 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the medical records data of the four kinds of diseases from the Kogi State Ministry of Health. We also conducted a semi-structured questionnaire of 250 residents, who have experienced one of these diseases, to investigate their coping strategies with these diseases. The Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis were used to research the relationship between the climate parameters and cases of diseases. The result showed annual variations in climatic parameters with R2 values of 0.0557, 0.0009, and 0.4915 for rainfall, maximum temperature, and minimum temperature, respectively. A positive and significant relationship were observed between maximum temperature and malaria (r=0.80), rainfall and malaria (r=0.54), minimum temperature and meningitis (r=0.64), as well as rainfall and cholera (r=0.66) at P<0.05 level. For the regression analysis R2= 0.71, 0.50, and 0.52 for malaria, cholera, and meningitis, respectively at P<0.05 level. During 2000–2020, cases of malaria were highest in Ward A with 15,422, while 715 cases of pneumonia were highest in Kupa North Ward. In Ward A, 3787 cases of cholera were recorded to be the highest, while cases of meningitis were highest in Kupa North Ward with 2383 cases. Investigation revealed that malaria is more common in the wet season, while cholera and meningitis cases were highest in the dry season. The study revealed that the most practiced coping strategy is the use of medications by about 90% of the respondents. More studies are recommended in the study area to establish a causal link between climate change and disease occurrence, and intervention from government in form of prevention and control programmes should be vigorously implemented.

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