Impacts of Saharan Dust on Asthma Prevalence across Senegal

Authors: Maggie Li*,
Topics: Africa, Hazards and Vulnerability, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: aerosols, Senegal, particulate matter, respiratory health, asthma, public health
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Air quality is an important factor that can determine respiratory health and mortality, particularly for individuals under the age of 5. High levels of exposure to particulate matter (PM) is associated with higher volumes of reported respiratory disease cases, such as asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A strong positive relationship between poor air quality and infant mortality has been documented throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting vulnerability at the early developmental stages of life. In Senegal, heightened levels of particulate matter brought by dust storms from the neighboring Saharan desert are generally considered to be an environmental health hazard. However, the scope of studies done in West Africa has been limited due to the lack of available and reliable data. For this presentation, we analyze health data collected from the Senegalese Ministry of Health and air quality data collected from ground monitors in Dakar, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) Aerosol Product (OMAERO) satellite, and the Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model during 2015-2016. This study investigates: (1) spatial and seasonal variation in district PM2.5/PM10 exposure concentrations and asthma prevalence across the 14 Senegalese administrative districts; (2) relationships between PM exposure and asthma prevalence; (3) variation in asthma prevalence between children aged 0 to 5 and individuals over 5. Preliminary results reflect consistently poor air quality in the northern districts of Matam and Saint Louis. We predict that these incidences will correspond to high volumes of reported asthma cases, particularly for individuals aged 0 to 5.

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