Addis Ababa's warming may trigger year-round malaria, study warns

Published date17 September 2023
Between 7,500 and 30,000 Ethiopians who claim Jewish ancestry or have first-degree Jewish relatives continue to live in Ethiopia, according to various estimates, including by the World Jewish Congress. Most live in Addis Ababa or Gondar, which is about 650 kilometers away from the city

Abay Yimere, a post-doctoral scholar in international environment and resource policy at Tufts University, worked with researchers at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts to analyze temperature data and flood risk from the past to help predict the future. Yimere wrote about their work in an open-source article. The research is still pending peer review.

'A rise in the frequency, duration, and intensity of heatwaves'

According to the report, the city's extreme daily maximum temperature would increase by about 1.7° Celsius by 2060 and by 1.8° Celsius during the warm-season months of March, April and May, bringing peak temperatures in some southern city neighborhoods to 26.21° Celsius. The researcher said further increases would be expected by 2090, with highs hitting as much as 27.78° Celsius.

Climate change "would result in a rise in the frequency, duration, and intensity of heatwaves," Yimere wrote. "In addition, higher temperatures contribute to increased water vapor and transpiration. This will threaten health, ecosystems, infrastructure, livelihoods, and food supplies."

Moreover, the increased temperatures would lead to public health risks, namely malaria transmission.

Malaria is a grave and occasionally deadly illness triggered by a parasite that frequently invades a specific mosquito species that feeds on humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Malaria patients often experience severe symptoms, including elevated body temperatures, uncontrollable shivering, and signs reminiscent of the flu.

A paper published earlier this year by a team of Ethiopian researchers in the Infection and Drug Resistance journal showed that 2.9 million...

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