What is AMMA health project?

AMMA is motivated by an interest in fundamental scientific issues and by the societal need for improved prediction of the West African Monsoon (WAM) and its impacts on West African nations. Vulnerability of West African societies to climate variability is likely to increase in the next decades as demands on resources increase in association with one of the world’s most rapidly growing populations.

Vulnerability may be further increased in association with the effects of climate change and other factors linked to the fast growing population. West Africa is characterized by a low income household economy mainly based on rain fed agriculture.

The significant increase in demographic pressure and the vulnerability of rainfall-dependent agricultural systems mark West Africa as one of the most food insecure and drought prone areas in the world. Understanding the effects of the West African Monsoon on regional and local water resources, food production and public health involves studying both the direct effect of the monsoon on the human activities and the possible adaptive strategies. Adaptation to climate variability is inherent in traditional agricultural - and broader livelihood - strategies and is embedded in social structures.

One of the aims of AMMA is to study the West African Monsoon (WAM) public health impacts, focusing epidemics of meningitis and malaria.

Scientists involved with geophysics and public health study the relationship between intra-seasonal, seasonal and interannual climate variability and these epidemics in this belt.

An objective of AMMA is to evaluate the impact of WAM on the dynamics of meningitis and malaria by identifying the roles of winds, dust concentration, precipitation, temperature, humidity and some environmental variables in morbidity, diseases and mosquito density data at selected locations.

Another objective is to combine climate research and health sciences, for defining epidemiological monitoring for early warning of epidemics over WAM to contribute to limit their impact.

By bringing together scientists from different disciplines, including those involved with public health and animal health, the Health Impacts work package will contribute to a better understanding of linkages and mechanisms between disease transmission, disease diffusion, epidemics, and climate/environment variability and changes. It will start to lay down the foundation for the development of early warning systems to assist with epidemic reduction/prevention.