Health Vulnerability Related to Climate Extremes in Amazonia and the Brazilian Northeast

Gilvan R. Guedes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Pollyane Silva, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Kenya V. Noronha , Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Lara Andrade, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Cláudio Silva, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte

The Brazilian Amazon and the Brazilian Northeast are the two regions with the highest levels of vulnerability to climate change in the country. While the first is characterized by the largest rainforest in the world and has a very hot and humid climate, the second hosts one of the largest deserts in the globe. Because of the very low latitudes, these regions are subject to very high temperatures and are susceptible to many tropical diseases, such as vector-borne (dengue, malaria, yellow fever), water-borne, and gastrointestinal diseases. These diseases are very sensitive to particular climate conditions, such as increase in temperature trend and precipitation concentration. This paper develops a multidimensional index of health vulnerability to climate extremes in Amazonia and the Brazilian Northeast applying the Alkire-Foster method. Vulnerability was conceptualized as represented by three components: risk (proxied by 7 extreme indices based on temperature and precipitation data from the ClimDex project), susceptibility (proxied by socioeconomic and demographic indicators, combining income, education and young and elderly dependency ratios), and adaptive capacity (proxied by sanitation and urbanization variables). Once defined, the index was decomposed by region and levels of climate-sensitive health indicators (infectious and parasitic disease rates) to understand how dimensions of vulnerability correlates with different levels of disease prevalent across regions. Results suggest that 28% of Amazonian regions were deprived in a least 25% of the variables used to create the index, against 8\% in the Northeast. The level of health vulnerability varies significantly when homogenous climate zones are taken into account.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality