What is the C2R-CD project about? Why is it important for Ghana?
The Coastal Community Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea (C2R-CD) project ultimately aims at building resilience to climate change and improving diarrhoeal management in coastal communities in Ghana. Ghana is among countries at risk from direct exposure to climate change and impacts on waterborne diseases, including diarrhoea. Already, the country is experiencing increased extreme weather conditions with higher incidences and more prolonged periods of flooding and droughts. Coastal communities have been identified as high-risk areas to climate change impact, with increased incidences of flooding due to sea level rise, coastal erosion, storm surges, surface runoff, etc.
Why the focus on diarrhoea?
Diarrhoeal disease is among the top five causes of outpatient morbidity in Ghana, increasing from 287,816 cases in 2012 to 1,429,990 in 2017, making it a disease of major public health concern.
Why the focus on coastal communities?
The numerous coastal wetland ecosystems are prone to regular flooding events that are linked to the risk of various water-borne infectious diseases and also serve as sites for transmission, especially with increasing contamination from land based sources coupled with poor sanitation conditions.
What is the link between climate change and diarrhoea?
Studies have established that global climate change would negatively affect human health, particularly manifesting in increased occurrence of waterborne diseases. There are indications that coastal sub-Saharan Africa countries are more vulnerable due to their low adaptive capacity.
What research approach is the C2R-CD project using?
The C2R-CD is using a transdisciplinary research (TDR) processes to engage with multi-level and multi-sectoral stakeholders right from the project inception to ensure ownership of knowledge generated for better uptake and impact. TDR is a research process involving investigators from different disciplines working jointly to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and translational innovations that are integrated in order to address a common problem.
What are the work packages in the project about?
The C2R-CD project has five work packages (WPs): these include:
- - Work Package 1: Generation of climate related biophysical information.
- - Work Package 2: Assessment of epidemiological, environmental drivers and transmission pathways.
- - Work Package 3: Exploration of socio-cultural and economic factors, and community level institutional arrangements in disaster risk and diarrhoea prevention and management.
- - Work Package 4: Generation of integrated scenarios of predictions based on data generated by WPs 1-3 to inform disease management.
- - Work Package 5: Integration of community participation into research process and implementation of innovative strategies informed by the outcomes from the other WPs.
Each WP has a lead and a co-lead academic researcher and other researchers with relevant expertise, some of which are included at different stages of the research. This is to ensure a holistic understanding of the interrelated issues surrounding diarrhoea onset and management. The non-academic partner institutions support to the participatory processes with local communities and institutions for knowledge sharing and development of innovative solutions. WPs 1-4 each has 1 PhD student fully supported by the project to build capacity in the various disciplines including marine science, public health, environmental science and modelling that are covered by the C2R-CD project.
What data collection and sampling techniques are being used?
C2R-CD is using quantitative, qualitative (in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, observations, photography etc.) and other participatory (community engagement) as well as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping and statistical modelling approaches.
Who are the key stakeholders the project is working with? What is/are the end goal(s) of the project?
The transdisciplinary team comprises local and international partners from Academia (University of Ghana, led by the IESS and supported by other units, Aarhus University, Denmark), Civil Society Group (Peoples Dialogue on Human Settlements) and Government Agencies (Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Assemblies of study communities) and representatives from communities. Ultimately, the C2R-CD project aims at generating long-term data series to model and explore the complexities of interactions between climatic, hydrological, environmental, epidemiological, institutional and socio-cultural determinants of diarrhoea. Specifically, the C2R-CD seeks to:
- • Assess climatic and non-climatic determinants of diarrhoeal diseases in coastal communities in Ghana and understand how they impact on diarrhoeal transmission.
- • Understand the epidemiology and transmission pathways of diarrhoea in coastal communities
- • Assess local governance systems that address climate related extreme events, disasters and disease outbreaks. Assess the capacity of community health systems to manage diarrhoea.
- • Develop a probabilistic scenario testing framework for visualization of the complex interactions of the many factors associated with diarrhoea under climate change and climate extreme scenarios.
- • Build the capacity of communities in diarrhoea prevention and management, especially in during climate related events e.g. floods. Build capacity of PhD students, research scientists, communities and institutions in conducting transdisciplinary and applied research.
How can I get involved in the C2R-CD Project?
To get involved, contact us using the details below:The C2R-CD Project, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), College of basic and applied sciences, University of Ghana, Legon
Who benefits from C2R-CD?
The communities whose resilience against diarrhoea would be enhanced, the Ghanaian Health Service and the country at large as there would be improved management, lower disease burden, knowledge and transferable management skills and lower government expenditure in diarrhoeal management at the national level.
What are the study communities?
The study is being undertaken in five coastal communities, namely Anyako, Anyanui and Atiteti (Volta Region), Eastern Coast; Opetekwei (Greater Accra Region) and Mumford (Central Region), Central Coast.
What Covid-19 safety measures are in place for the research team and participants?
The C2R-CD project ensures strict adherence to all the covid-19 protocols during all of its engagement activities, this includes the provision of personal safety materials such as masks and sanitisers to all participants, and also ensuring that all participants undergo the necessary protocols of handwashing and temperature checks. Additionally, ethical permissions are sought from relevant ethical review boards, such as the Ethical Review Boards of the College of Basic and Applied Science (CBAS), University of Ghana, and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Ghana prior to embarking on data collection activities.