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date: 05 December 2023

Climate Change and Water-Related Diseases in the Mekong Delta Regionlocked

Climate Change and Water-Related Diseases in the Mekong Delta Regionlocked

  • Nu Quy Linh Tran, Nu Quy Linh TranCentre for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University
  • Des Connell, Des ConnellSchool of Environment and Science, Griffith University
  • Trung Hieu NguyenTrung Hieu NguyenClimate Change Research Institute, Can Tho University
  •  and Dung PhungDung PhungSchool of Public Health, University of Queensland


The Mekong Delta Region (MDR) in Vietnam, located at the downstream end of the Mekong River, is highly affected by climate change and extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, soil erosion, and salinization. Due to the specific characteristics of climate, topography, river systems, and population, water-related diseases (WRDs) have been a disease burden in the Mekong Delta. This article aims to critically review the evidence of existing studies on the association between climatic conditions and WRDs in the MDR. Dengue was found to be most sensitive to the changes in ambient temperatures, humidity, and rainfall at a lag of 2 months. The climate-based prediction model was recommended for an early warning system to enhance dengue prevention. Diarrheal diseases are highly correlated with extreme weather events such as high temperatures and floods, but the evidence on the association between climatic conditions and cause-specific WRDs is limited and inconclusive. Despite the preliminary evidence for the development of climate change adaptation strategies in the MDR, studies on other WRDs (i.e., water-washed, water-scarce, and water-contaminated diseases) should be conducted. In addition, future studies should investigate the effects of interaction between climatic factors and sociodemographic, household, and individual factors in predicting climate-sensitive diseases. How to translate and integrate the scientific evidence to the policy and practices that protect the MDR residents from the elevated extreme weather events due to climate change should be warranted.


  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health

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