Peng Jia

Disasters and health

Address a range of global health issues in our online course Geo-Health

Hazards in our environment affect our health and well-being

The environment (e.g. exposure to disease, pollution, noise and extreme weather conditions) can affect our health and well-being in many different ways. In the last decade, more than 2.6 billion people have been affected by disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, cyclones, heat waves, floods, or severe cold weather (WHO 2019a). Not only do these affect the environment but also our health and well-being. Hazards and health emergencies can affect health in many ways (WHO):

Heat: a risk for healthy living

As temperatures rise, the effects of extreme heat are a growing concern. However, it is not always possible to obtain information that enables us to examine the effects of heat at a local level due to a lack of available data.

Heat risks in Mozambique 

Heat risks in Mozambique and how this can affect health
Spatial and temporal variation of heat events in Mozambique and what this means at a local city level.

As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, heat extremes are increasingly being observed globally. Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest disasters and pose a serious threat to the health of the population, as well as impacting labour productivity, agricultural crops, physical infrastructure, and essential services. Reporting on heatwaves and analyzing impacts locally is crucial to developing operational thresholds for early warning systems, ultimately reducing the risk of extreme heat.

To date, heat-health research has mainly been conducted in high-income, mid-latitude countries, and is lacking across the African continent. Although heatwaves do occur in many African countries, these events have largely been under-reported and understudied - therefore the impacts remain simply unknown.  

Thus, the main aims of this project are to increase our understanding of extreme heat events in Mozambique, one of Africa's most vulnerable countries to climate change risks, and better understand the impacts this has on the human health so that we can better inform the development of relevant heat-health action plans.

Heat map
Photo: Carolina Pereira Marghidan (2022)
Heat risk map of Mozambique

More information about heat risk in Mozambique

Pereira Marghidan, C., Blanford, J.I., van Aalst, M., Guigma, K., Maure, G., Pinto, I., Arrighi, J., & Marrufo, T. (2022, April 2). Assessing the spatio-temporal distribution of extreme heat events in Mozambique using the CHIRTS temperature dataset for 1983-2016. Presented at the 30th Annual Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK), Liverpool, United Kingdom.


Carolina Pereira Marghidan
Master's Spatial Engineering