Adaptive Capacity of the Communities in View of Climate Change in Areas Vulnerable to Malaria in the Himalayan Region of India

  • Syed Shah Areeb Hussain ICMR - National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
  • Vijay P Ojha ICMR - National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
  • Gaurav Kumar ICMR - National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
  • Poonam Singh ICMR - National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
  • Ramesh C Dhiman ICMR - National Institute of Malaria Research, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
Keywords: Malaria, Climate Change, Knowledge, Adaptive Capacity, Himachal Pradesh


Background: Malaria is one of the major public health problems in India and climate change is expected to aggravate the situation by opening new windows for transmission, particularlyin the Himalayan region. It is, therefore, essential to identify knowledge gapsand adaptive capacity of communities to the adverse impacts of climate change, to develop adaptation plan and improve resilience.

Methods: The adaptive capacity to potential risks of malaria due to climate change was assessed in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, based on the knowledge, attitude, health seeking behaviour, practices and socio-economic status of the communities. The preparedness of health facilities was also assessed in the respective healthcare facilities in view of the threat of climate change.

Results: Though communities had basic knowledge about malaria, lack of specific knowledge about breeding sources of mosquitoes, use of traditional protective measures (41%) from mosquito bites, delayed health seeking behaviour by 40% households (2-4 days after illness) were found unsatisfactory.The assessment of health system revealed inadequacies in capacity for beds at CHCs (in 60%), lack of training of staff and logistics in preparedness for the threat of malaria.

Conclusion: The general knowledge of communities regarding malaria was satisfactory, but several misconceptions which may affect the vulnerability to future risk of malaria were found. The adaptive capacity was found slightly above average (57.04) owing to the overall good socio-economic status. However, lack of proper health care infrastructure may impact the overall adaptive capacity of the communities to malaria.

How to cite this article:
Hussain SSA, Ojha VP, Kumar G, Singh P, Dhiman RC. Adaptive Capacity of the Communities in View of Climate Change in Areas Vulnerable to Malaria in the Himalayan Region of India. J Commun Dis. 2021;53(3):143-152.



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