Understanding the Hydro-climatic Drivers of Cholera Outbreaks

Researche Funding: University of Notre Dame

Faculty Researcher: Prof Dr M. Shahjahan Mondal, Mr Shadman Sakib

Collaboration: Lead: University of Notre Dame, The United States of America (USA); Affiliate: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b); Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), BUET

Duration: May, 2019 - April, 2020

Bangladesh is at the frontline of today’s most pressing emerging water management challenges. It is also a major hotspot for emerging global health issues: cholera is endemic and hypertension arising from consumption of saline water is an increasing concern. The goal of the proposed project is to identify the governing scale of key water-related drivers controlling the prevalence of cholera and hypertension, two of Bangladesh’s leading cause of premature death. For example, groundwater salinity arises from a tug-of-war between global sea level rise and freshwater influx from regional transboundary rivers, while heavily affected by local agricultural practices. The project, partnered with University of Notre Dame (UND) and icddr,b,  aims to combine recent extensive data collection and modelling efforts by these institutions with novel techniques to assimilate new data sources (i.e. satellite data) and integrate complex transport processes  and strategic human behavior (i.e. game theory) into a unified and causal modelling framework that will enable predictive scenario analysis. Research outcomes will result in new knowledge on the effect of changes in water-related drivers of pressing public health issues. This knowledge is imperative to design efficient and targeted adaptation policies at the local (e.g., agricultural regulations), regional (international water agreement) or global (sea level rise mitigation) scales.