Accra, May 16, GNA—Stakeholders of the Coastal Community Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea (C2R-CD) project have held their annual meeting, committing to deepening the fight against diarrhoea through collaborative research.
The meeting, which is the maiden edition of a five-year project, seeks to review the activities of year one and allow stakeholders to interact with each other and make inputs into the on-going research.
In a presentation on the project on Wednesday in Accra, the Principal Investigator for the project, Dr. Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah said the overall goal of the project was “to understand the link between climate change and the Diarrhoea disease in coastal communities in order to better fight the disease in the face of climate change realities.”
In that regard, Dr. Yirenya-Tawiah, asserted that vulnerable communities were the most affected by extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change. “So we expect that, as the weather changes, we would have increases in diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea at such places.”
The Principal Investigator, therefore, said the project would assess the climatic and non-climatic determinants of the occurrence of diarrhoea in coastal communities in Ghana and understand how they impacted on the transmission of the disease.
Dr. Yirenya-Tawiah indicated that the project would try to comprehend the incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases and transmission pathways of diarrhoea in coastal communities, and assess local governance systems that addressed climate related extreme events, disaster and disease outbreaks and the capacity of community health systems to manage diarrhoea.
She said the research would also develop a testing framework to visualize the complex interactions of the many factors associated with diarrhoea under climate change and climate extreme scenarios, and build the capacity of communities in diarrheoa prevention and management.
The Chairman for the occasion, Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang, indicated that climate change was one of the biggest environmental issues affecting everything mankind did and therefore should not be neglected when taking major decisions that affected health delivery, for instance.
Prof. Anang, who was the Director of Nuguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, said one exceptional thing about the project was how it focused on the most critical areas of human life and of the community which were health and the environment.
“If you are able to bring health and the environment together properly, you actually position the community for sustainable breakthrough in both health and environment, and if we do it right, it is going to generate a lot of information that can be used to guide policy,” he added.
The C2R-CD project would be implemented through five work packages with work package one looking at generating climate related biophysical information whilst work package two looked at assessing the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases.
Work package three would explore the socio-cultural and economic factors and community level institutional arrangements in disaster risk management and diarrheoa prevention and management, whilst data generated from work packages one to three would be collated and modelled for scenario predictions in work package four to inform disease management.
Work package five would integrate community participation into the research process and implement innovative strategies that would be informed by the various work packages.
C2R-CD is a transdisciplinary research which involves the coastal communities, researchers, students and other relevant stakeholders.
It also explores locally appropriate actions and therefore has involved the communities in the research process from the beginning in an integrated sense of project implementation.
Some of the communities included in the research are Keta, Angloga, Gomoa West, Ablekumah West, all along the Ghanaian coastline.
The project is led by the University of Ghana with five units of the university involved. These are the school of Public Health, Department of Physics, the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Department of Animal Biology and Preservation Science, with the lead unit being the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies.
Partners of the C2R-CD project include Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Aarhus University, DFC, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and People’s Dialogue.