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Climate Change and Health Mongolia

Palam, Enkhtuya1; Chimedtseren, Nyamragchaa1; Badrakh, Burmaajav2; Hong, Yun-Chul3; Kim, Ho3; Cheong, Hae-Kwan4

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391706.73059.4c
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Climate Change and Environmental Health

1Public Health Institute, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; 2Ministry of Health, Mongolia; 3Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of Korea; and 4Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, Republic of Korea.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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The climate change studies conducted in Mongolia concluded (P. Batima, 2005) that global warming would have a significant impact on natural zones, water resources, snow cover, and permafrost. It is important to make a distinction between the processes of climate change and the impacts on water suppliers resulting from these changes. Although global warming is fairly straightforward, the impacts on water suppliers may involve many additional cause and effect relationships. There have been certain changes in Mongolia's hydrological regime. Increased winter air temperature and more intense rainfall in summer have affected not only the timing of stream flows but also seasonal runoff, i.e., there is a longer dry period with lower flows in the low flow seasons and a shorter period with higher flows in the peak flow periods.

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Water quality testing is carried out by authorized laboratories of state and local water utility organizations, State and local specialized inspections agencies, Public Health Institute, and other organizations.

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According to bacteriological contamination of drinking water, when the highest contamination of drinking water falls to Gobi region (348.75 ± 61.0), then the lowest contamination was observed in eastern region (41.6 ± 7.4) and UB (12.0 ± 6.0). In order to see the impact of climate change on water quality, we analyzed statistically air temperature and precipitation in comparison with water bacteriological and chemical parameters. By correlation analysis, air temperature has weak correlation with mineralization, sulfate, ammonia, nitrate, and total coliform, out of all water parameters. With the increase in air temperature, slight tendency in increase of these water parameters was observed. However, there was no observed relationship between air temperature and other water parameters. In order to determine how incidences of waterborne diseases are affected by water quality and climate parameters, in the first model, total bacteria count, coliform count, NH4, NO2, and NO3, and in the second, model air temperature and precipitation, and in the third model, all above water quality and climate parameter parameters were selected as independent variables, respectively. Statistically, it was proved that air temperature and precipitation have an impact on salmonellosis, dysentery, and hepatitis A, out of all studied waterborne diseases except typhoid. Air temperature and precipitation do influence the incidence of salmonellosis by 3.5%, dysentery by 4.5%, and hepatitis A by 10.2%. In order to see threshold effect of precipitation on salmonellosis incidence, we compared disease incidence in different ranges of precipitation. Incidence of salmonellosis is gradually increased with an increase of precipitation and the highest incidences observed during the period with higher precipitation.

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Water resources and its regime are under treat of climate change. Mongolia already experiences considerable water stress as a result of insufficient and unreliable rainfall, changing rainfall patterns, or flooding. The impacts of climate change—including predicted increases in extremes—are likely to add to this stress, leading to additional pressure on water availability, accessibility, supply, and demand. A general increasing tendency of mineralization and content of chloride and sulfate ions in drinking water was observed year after year in Mongolia, which could be caused by an impact of climate change on quality of surface and ground water. Some waterborne diseases are correlated with climate parameters (air temperature and precipitation) for a particular extent.

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