Climate change is a global threat to stability. With its impacts in the form of extreme weather events and rising water body levels, climate change exposes present and future generations to lifelong health and livelihood harm, particularly in regions with low adaptive capacity, such as Africa. In Uganda, a country with huge dependence on natural resources, the increased frequency and intensity of severe weather, such as flooding and drought, causes tormenting risks, as the occurrences of water-borne and vector- borne diseases and malnutrition-related illnesses are aggravated.

To enhance the ability of the national health systems to prepare for and cope with rising needs for treating climate-sensitive diseases, Uganda has put in place a range of measures, including a health sector development plan that reflects the need for “early warning systems and dissemination of weather forecasts to help health managers to improve preparedness and response” (GoU, 2015). Despite the successful introduction of policy measures, to-date, the country has not introduced a system capable of predicting the anticipated occurrence of climate sensitive diseases based on changes in weather conditions (such as temperature and rainfall). This would help prepare the health system to respond to increased occurrences of climate-sensitive diseases. This study addresses this gap by developing a digital solution that predicts the occurrence of climate-sensitive diseases based on historical and current weather and health data.

This Climate Change and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Uganda (CHASA) project aimed to fill this gap by: (i) identifying, ranking and documenting key climate-sensitive diseases, including analysis of the correlations between climate factors and disease risks; (ii) developing a forecast model on climate change and disease risks that runs as a web and smartphone application for use by health facilities, health managers and planners; (iii) documenting and sharing learning on the linkages between climate and weather changes and health risks; and (iv) developing key recommendations for improving national health system to improve the detection and response to climate-sensitive diseases.