Relationship between climatic factors and respiratory diseases in information settlement in Windhoek

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University of Namibia
This study focuses on the correlation between climatic factors and health in informal settlements in Windhoek, Namibia, to investigate if climatic factors have a role to play in respiratory disease occurrences. The objectives are to identify climate-related disease trends in Windhoek informal settlements and explore the association between respiratory diseases and changes in temperature, humidity, and rainfall patterns in these settlements. A quantitative retrospective methodology was employed as the study design. Amongst the diseases, Nose/Throat constituted 36.39% of all the respiratory disease, Other Respiratory System Disease accounted for 32.29%, Common Cold accounted for 28.74%, Pneumonia with 1.69%, Asthma/Bronchial Spasm 0.82%, and Tuberculosis 0.11%. Forty-five percent of patients were in the age category older than eighteen years, 38% in the age category 0-5 years, and 17% in the age category 5-17 years. Females accounted for the majority of cases with 52% in comparison to males that accounted for 48%. The study found that there is a significant (p<0.01) variation in the morbidity pattern of respiratory diseases among age groups. A negative correlation at the 0.01 probability level between respiratory diseases (Asthma/bronchial spams, Common Cold, Nose/Throat Disease/Disorder, Other Respiratory System Disease, Pneumonia) and maximum and minimum temperature was established. Only Nose and throat disease had a significant correlation with rainfall and humidity at the probability level 0.05. There was No association established between tuberculosis and the climatic factors. The study highlights the existence of a relationship between respiratory diseases and changes in temperature, humidity, and rainfall patterns in Windhoek’s informal settlement. Even though these relationships were weak, it was evident that climatic factors do play a role in the occurrences of respiratory diseases. It is recommended that measures to prevent or mitigate the occurrence and prevention of respiratory infections be included in the preparation and handling of harmful human health effects of climate change.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Public Health
Adaptation, Climatic indicators, Respiratory diseases, Weather variability