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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 191-213; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100191

Water-Borne Diseases and Extreme Weather Events in Cambodia: Review of Impacts and Implications of Climate Change

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601, Australia
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan
World Health Organization, Cambodia Country Office, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kristie L. Ebi and Jeremy Hess
Received: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather-Related Morbidity and Mortality: Risks and Responses)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1360 KB, uploaded 14 January 2015]   |  


Cambodia is prone to extreme weather events, especially floods, droughts and typhoons. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of such events. The Cambodian population is highly vulnerable to the impacts of these events due to poverty; malnutrition; agricultural dependence; settlements in flood-prone areas, and public health, governance and technological limitations. Yet little is known about the health impacts of extreme weather events in Cambodia. Given the extremely low adaptive capacity of the population, this is a crucial knowledge gap. A literature review of the health impacts of floods, droughts and typhoons in Cambodia was conducted, with regional and global information reviewed where Cambodia-specific literature was lacking. Water-borne diseases are of particular concern in Cambodia, in the face of extreme weather events and climate change, due to, inter alia, a high pre-existing burden of diseases such as diarrhoeal illness and a lack of improved sanitation infrastructure in rural areas. A time-series analysis under quasi-Poisson distribution was used to evaluate the association between floods and diarrhoeal disease incidence in Cambodian children between 2001 and 2012 in 16 Cambodian provinces. Floods were significantly associated with increased diarrhoeal disease in two provinces, while the analysis conducted suggested a possible protective effect from toilets and piped water. Addressing the specific, local pre-existing vulnerabilities is vital to promoting population health resilience and strengthening adaptive capacity to extreme weather events and climate change in Cambodia. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood; drought; extreme weather event; climate change; Cambodia; health; water-borne disease; diarrhoea flood; drought; extreme weather event; climate change; Cambodia; health; water-borne disease; diarrhoea

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This 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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Davies, G.I.; McIver, L.; Kim, Y.; Hashizume, M.; Iddings, S.; Chan, V. Water-Borne Diseases and Extreme Weather Events in Cambodia: Review of Impacts and Implications of Climate Change. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 191-213.

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