The Impact of El Niño on Diarrheal Disease Incidence: A Systematic Review
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 5, Issue 6, November 2017, Pages: 446-451
Received: Mar. 22, 2017; Accepted: Apr. 5, 2017; Published: Nov. 17, 2017
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Solomon Demissie, Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Bezatu Mengisitie, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia
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Climate change is becoming a huge threat to the health especially for those from developing countries. Diarrhea is one of the major diseases linked with changing climate. Global climate change is expected to increase the risk of diarrheal diseases, a leading cause of childhood mortality. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate event that originates in the Pacific Ocean but has wide-ranging consequences for weather around the world, and is especially associated with droughts and floods. An El Niño occurs approximately every 3 to 7 years when warm equatorial water shifts from Western to Eastern Pacific ocean. However, there is uncertainty about the impact of climate change/ESNO on the transmission of diarrheal pathogens and diarrhea disease. The aim of this systematical review is to examine the impact of El Niño on diarrheal disease incidence in children and adults. An extensive literature review was conducted in January 2017 using electronic databases Google Scholar, PubMed, and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The review was limited to studies reporting the impacts of El Niño on diarrheal diseases or studying associations between climate change associated with El Niño and diarrheal diseases outcomes. Over 2600 scholarly papers and potential published articles identified in the initial electronic search, of which 30 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Evidence for an association between disease risk and ENSO is more robust when analyses use a long time-series that incorporate more than one event and when there is an appropriate geographical aggregation of data. On the basis of the evidence available, this review primarily draws upon observational studies. The result of this systematic review confirmed that most of the studies noted a significant association between diarrheal disease and El Niño. However, research on the impact of El Nino/climate change on diarrhoeal disease is limited. Longitudinal studies over extended periods of time that investigate the link between El Nino/climate change and diarrheal disease are needed. There is a need for studies to be expanded to include more countries in the region and to include other environmental, social and economic factors that might affect the incidence of diarrheal disease.
Climate Change, El Niño, Diarrhea, Systematic Review
To cite this article
Solomon Demissie, Bezatu Mengisitie, The Impact of El Niño on Diarrheal Disease Incidence: A Systematic Review, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2017, pp. 446-451. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20170506.16
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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