Diarrhoea is an infectious disease that claims many lives (particularly among infants) and is known among many other infectious diseases, to have a relationship with climate. This projects quantifies this relationship by comparing health insurance treatment claims for diarrhoea and anti-diarrheal drug sales data from the private health sector with temperature and rainfall data provided by the South African Weather Service.
The data were then analysed and show that incidence is highly seasonal and varies among regions with different seasonal climates. The results show that climate variability can explain 73% of diarrhea incidence variation with rainfall explaining 8% and minimum temperature explain the other 65 %. Preliminary predictions of future monthly percentage increases in incidence were then made for a series of time ranges. This project demonstrates that with predicted climate data one can predict future variations of diarrhoea allowing the health sector to be adequately prepared.