Study Predicts Changes in Seasonal Monsoon Precipitation in Nepal

by Portal Web Editor last modified Aug 17, 2013 08:02 PM
Contributors: Thomas O’Malley
© 2013. Livestock-Climate CRSP
Innovation Lab researchers Shih-Yu Wang and Robert Gillies (Utah State University) used a set of century-long reanalysis and observations to learn more about the role of the 12-year oscillation cycle in the monsoon precipitation regime in Nepal as well as the Ganges River Plain. Their results could potentially help the 400 million people who live in that region better support their livestock and crops.

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Research Impacts:

  • Dr. Mark Nanyingi explained how RVF affect the pastoralists and their integration in early warning system for their communities.
  • This study will contribute to other predictive tools to help not only pastoralists but risk population in increased preparedness for and avoid the effects of Rift Valley Fever outbreaks, which can result in hundreds of animal and human deaths.

His research will help pastoral communities and all populations that are risk of disease to be prepared in response to an outbreak. The Kenyan government ministries of livestock and health will find the output relevant in disease mitigation policy planning, early warning systems and targeted resource allocation.

“the RVF mass vaccinations may interrupt the transmission dynamics of the virus and therefore eliminate the outbreak of disease.”

Rift Valley Fever epidemics are known to be driven by climate variability, often linked closely to the warm phase of the El Nino phenomenon. Using several different analysis techniques to study the climate and land, Dr. Nanyingi has found a significant correlation between elevated rainfall, the amount of vegetation in a given area, and RVF outbreaks. This is because these factors increase the competence and capacity of mosquitoes to transmit disease. Dr. Nanyingi is using Garissa as a case study and hotspot to study RVF. By combining environmental and climatic factors Dr. Nanyingi has been able to make reliable predictions about potential RVF outbreaks.

Dr. Nanyingi is working with the Centers for Disease control (CDC), Kenya on collaborative efforts to create vector distribution and risk maps. He commented on the lack of geographical distribution and density maps of vectors (mosquitoes) involved in RVF transmission as a missing link, which if tackled will assist in accurate prediction and control of Rift Valley Fever outbreaks.

He recommends that if vector profile maps are available, they will be overlaid on existing maps of RVF risk and prevalence to assess the contribution of vector dynamics in disease spread. This will allow for quantification of the relationship between the environmental factors and the organisms that transmit the virus.

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