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World Malaria Day 2022: Climate change and vector-borne disease

A mother and her two children taking part in the MASSIV trial in Basse
A mother and her two children taking part in the MASSIV trial in Basse

Join us this World Malaria Day when we will be taking a deep dive into the intersection of climate change and malaria. Much has been discussed about this complex relationship but what do we really know?

The global temperature has risen significantly over the past 100 years, with an accelerated warming trend since the mid-1950s. Elementary modelling suggests that this increase will enhance the transmission rates of mosquito-borne disease and widen its geographical distribution, with an increase in malaria, in particular, being identified as a potential impact of climate change.  

However, it may not be possible to quantify how climate change affects malaria transmission, which depends on many factors such as population and demographic dynamics, drug resistance, insecticide resistance, human activities such as deforestation, irrigation, swamp drainage, etc., and their impact on the local ecology.  

To unpick this puzzle, we will be hearing expert opinions from South America and East Africa – two of the areas most at threat from a changing climate. Our panel will discuss the impact on both malaria and dengue, with plenty of time for questions at the end.  

More information on this year’s World Malaria Day campaign. 

Infographic on global warming, malaria and dengue - Text includes: Additional people at risk by 2100 due to rising tempuratures and population growth.

Speakers and talk titles 

Dr Rachel Lowe, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) 

Talk title

Tracking and predicting vector-borne disease risk in a warming climate 

Bio

From 2016-2021 she was a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at LSHTM, where she continues to serve on the management committee of the Centre for Climate Change and Planetary Health. Rachel obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Exeter in 2011. Her thesis focused on integrating climate information in spatio-temporal models to predict the risk of dengue epidemics in Brazil. She held postdoctoral positions at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy and the Catalan Institute for Climate Sciences in Spain, working at the interface of climate prediction science and public health decision-making. She has conducted cutting-edge methodological research on disentangling the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease risk and developing impact-based forecasting models to inform disease control and prevention strategies in partnership with stakeholders in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.  

She is the Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown in Europe, a transdisciplinary collaboration tracking progress on health and climate change. 

Sophie Lee, LSHTM

Talk title

Exploring the contribution of climate change and connectivity to the erosion of dengue transmission barriers in Brazil 

Bio

Sophie is a final year PhD student at LSHTM. Her research aims to understand the role of climate change, cities, and connectivity on the expansion of dengue outbreaks in Brazil. She is particularly interested in Bayesian spatial modelling techniques and developing a framework that can capture multiple sources of spatial connectivity within the data and quantifying the contribution of each. She graduated from Lancaster University with a First Class BSc (hons) in Mathematics with statistics in 2013 and an MSc with distinction in Statistics in 2014. Her thesis focused on using spatio-temporal models to understand the impact of socioeconomic factors on malaria transmission within the Brazilian Amazon. She was awarded Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.  

Between 2015 - 2018 Sophie was a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Applied Statistics Courses at UCL where she wrote and delivered a number of courses to delegates from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Since 2019, she has been writing and delivering courses aimed at teaching quantitative analysis alongside R software to professionals from different backgrounds. 

Dr Isabel Fletcher, Wellcome Trust

Talk title

Assessing the impact of climate variation and mediating factors on malaria incidence 

Bio

Isabel is Technology Manager in the Data for Science and Health team at the Wellcome Trust, where she focuses on building a portfolio of projects around climate and health, and infectious diseases. She recently completed her PhD at LSHTM, where she investigated the impacts of climate variation and land-use change on mosquito-borne diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has held a consultancy position at the World Meteorological Organization/World Health Organization Joint Office for Climate and Health in Geneva and is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II. 

Dr Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

Talk title

Monitoring the impact of meteorological factors and intermittent control interventions on the malaria dynamics in the Peruvian Amazon 

Bio

Dr Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Associate Researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine "Alexander von Humboldt", Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH). Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar is currently the director of the Health Innovation Lab and a board member of Climate Modeling Alliance, the Center for Latin-American Research on Climate Change and Health, both at UPCH. He earned his MS in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, UPCH and is currently a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). His research lies at the interface of infectious diseases epidemiology, human mobility, environmental determinants, climate change, and urban development. He uses a wide range of methods such as causal inference, spatio-temporal analysis, and remote sensing to forward our understanding of infectious disease dynamics in complex environmental settings. 

Dr Obed Ogega, African Academy of Sciences

Talk title

Towards Malaria elimination in a changing climate: Lessons from East Africa 

Bio

Dr Obed Ogega is a research scientist and program management specialist committed to transforming lives through science, strategic management, and servant leadership. Part of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)’s team developing young scientists, Obed’s work contributes to efforts being made towards the creation of a critical mass of emerging research leaders that will deliver the ‘Africa We Want’ as envisioned in Africa’s Agenda 2063. Before joining the AAS, he worked with CORDIO East Africa and the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi. Out of office, Obed is an award-winning photographer focussed on showcasing challenges and success stories in environmental conservation. He holds a master’s degree in Climate Change Adaptation and a PhD in Environmental Studies (Climate Change & Sustainability). 
 

Please note that the recording link will be listed on this page when available

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Follow webinar link. Free and open to all. No registration required.

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