LSHTM joins new consortium tackling the effect of climate change on diarrheal diseases

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine joins the SPRINGS consortium, a global consortium aiming to improve policies and interventions to tackle the effects of climate change on diarrheal diseases.
Quote card for Professor Anna Vassall

The SPRINGS consortium, led by the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and Amsterdam UMC, has been awarded €6.5m by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme. The grant will support the consortium’s work which initially aims to understand how climate change’s impact on water supplies and the environment will affect the spread of key pathogens and, thus, increase the risk of contracting diarrheal disease.

Diarrhoea is, globally, the third largest cause of death for children under five. Contributing to more than 500,000 deaths, only pneumonia kills more children each year. Climate change, driving increased flooding and droughts, threatens the fragile progress made in reducing diarrheal disease burden over the past decades. The global consortium will work to describe the consequences of climate change on diarrheal disease burden and facilitate effective policy responses in countries that are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

As part of the consortium, health economists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will integrate and translate evidence on interventions that reduce or respond to the impact of climate change on diarrheal disease to inform policy. They will seek to examine how to balance the competing need to build long term health sector resilience to climate change against other immediate and future health and economic needs.

LSHTM researchers will work closely with partners, stakeholders and policy makers in Ghana and Romania, designing approaches to take decisions on investment across different sectors, linked with both countries existing health technology assessment and appraisal (HTA) systems, that evaluate the impact of health technologies and interventions on the lives of patients and health care systems, before recommending them for scale-up across the health sector. LSHTM’s work will develop pragmatic approaches to capturing climate relevant investment for the health sector that can be applied widely.

Developing collaborative research between Europe and lower-income countries recognised that while high income countries are driving disproportionate climate related impact in lower-income settings, all countries are facing shared threats and can learn from one another’s vulnerabilities. This research will be pivotal in supporting the testing and prioritisation of interventions that can mitigate current and future risks globally with respect to climate sensitive water-borne diarrheal diseases.

Anna Vassall, Professor of Health Economics at LSHTM said: “There is a growing recognition that health sectors need to be able to adjust to both the emergency and long-term health impact from climate change. We are very excited about being part of this collaboration across Europe and lower-income countries that can both add important new insight on the relationship between climate and water-borne disease, and directly support policy makers’ response.”


The EU flag sits beside text that reads Funded by the European Union

SPRINGS - Supporting Policy Regulations and Interventions to Negate aggravated Global diarrheal disease due to future climate Shocks - officially started on 1 January 2024, is a €6.5 million project that spans five years. The project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme with Grant Agreement number 101057554.

The SPRINGS consortium consists of Amsterdam UMC, AIGHD, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the University of Virginia, the University of Ghana, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Three o'Clock, Aarhus University, the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Naples, the Haydom Lutheran Hospital, AQUATIM, the University of Bucharest and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

Find out more about the SPRINGS consortium: Tackling the effect of climate change on diarrheal diseases (

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