West Africa is an important region for studying climate impacts on public health and animal health, for at least two reasons:
i) While inhabitants are poor in general, rural conditions render them extremely sensitive to environmental changes and associated risks including exposure to diseases and epidemics. For example, in Niger one child out of four will die before the age of four. In Niger malaria is the major of cause of mortality and morbidity.
ii) In West Africa there is a delicate balance between climate and environmental variability, water resources, mosquito density, agricultural and pastoral outputs and the quality of life.
As far as meningococcal meningitis is concerned, variability in the seasonality of the monsoon can lead in certain years to a human population becoming very susceptible to epidemics. The AMMA project is to bring together scientists from different disciplines, including those involved with public health and animal health. This unique Health Impacts WP will contribute to a better understanding of linkages and mechanisms between 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 through optimising the limited resources in areas of greatest need.

The objectives of this workpackage are:
To identify the roles of meteorological and environmental variables in patterns and diffusion of selected diseases: Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Senegal, malaria and meningitis in Niger.
To characterise the impacts of the seasonal and inter-annual variability in the West African monsoon on selected diseases.
To identify the role of natural river flooding, soil type and agricultural irrigation in the patterns and density of vectors and vector borne diseases
To examine the impact of rainfall, hydrology and pond dynamics, at selected locations
Evaluate the impact of monsoon rainfall and other climatic factors on the dynamics of malaria and RVF vector populations on the presence, and then absence, of climatic conditions to allow onset, and then cessation, of the spread of meningitis epidemics in Niger.