Project Publications

New paper led by PhD Candidate Blanaid Donnelly on the prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitemia among Indigenous Batwa and non-Indigenous communities of Kanungu District, Uganda published in Malaria Journal

A new IHACC article on prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitemia among Indigenous Batwa and non-Indigenous communities in Uganda was recently published in Malaria Journal. The publication can be found here.

Donnelly, B., L. Berrang-Ford, J. Labbe, S. Twesigomwe, S. Lwasa, B.D. Namanya, S.L. Harper, M. Kulkarni, N.A. Ross, IHACC Research Team, and P. Michel (2016) Prevalence and risk factors of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitemia among Indigenous Batwa and non-Indigenous communities of Kanungu District, Uganda. Malaria Journal 15:254.

New IHACC paper looking at food insecurity in Iqaluit, Nunavut published in International Journal of Circumpolar Health

Guo, Y., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Lardeau, MP., Edge, V., Patterson K., the IHACC Research Team, and Harper, S. (2015). Seasonal prevalence and determinants of food insecurity in Iqaluit, Nunavut. International Journal of Circumpolar Health.    Abstract

Background. Food insecurity is an ongoing problem in the Canadian Arctic. Although most studies have focused on smaller communities, little is known about food insecurity in larger centres.

Objectives. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of food insecurity during 2 different seasons in Iqaluit, the territorial capital of Nunavut, as well as identify associated risk factors.

Design. A modified United States Department of Agriculture Food Security Survey was applied to 532 randomly selected households in September 2012 and 523 in May 2013. Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine potential associations between food security and 9 risk factors identified in the literature.

Results. In September 2012, 28.7% of surveyed households in Iqaluit were food insecure, a rate 3 times higher than the national average, but lower than smaller Inuit communities in Nunavut. Prevalence of food insecurity in September 2012 was not significantly different in May 2013 (27.2%). When aggregating results from Inuit households from both seasons (May and September), food insecurity was associated with poor quality housing and reliance on income support (p<0.01). Unemployment and younger age of the person in charge of food preparation were also significantly associated with food insecurity. In contrast to previous research among Arctic communities, gender and consumption of country food were not positively associated with food security. These results are consistent with research describing high food insecurity across the Canadian Arctic.

Conclusion. The factors associated with food insecurity in Iqaluit differed from those identified in smaller communities, suggesting that experiences with, and processes of, food insecurity may differ between small communities and larger commercial centres. These results suggest that country food consumption, traditional knowledge and sharing networks may play a less important role in larger Inuit communities.

New emerging results booklet on the burden, seasonality, lived experience of AGI among the Batwa of Uganda

The IHACC-Uganda team has just issued a draft emerging results booklet of recent research on the burden, seasonality, lived experience, and health seeking behaviour options for acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) among the Batwa of Kanungu District, Uganda. The emerging results booklet features quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods analyses from three undergraduate honours theses from IHACC students: Sierra Clark (McGill University), Alison Sumner (University of Guelph) and Laura-Jane Weber (University of Guelph). The IHACC team is currently receiving feedback on the results and a sample of booklets are being distributed to local stakeholders and community members in Kanungu. Read the online version of the booklet here:

Booklet designed by Sierra Clark and Stephanie Austin Contents compiled by Sierra Clark and Alison Sumner

New IHACC research paper on climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut published in BMC Public Health

A new research paper by the IHACC Research team, led by Dr. Sherilee Harper, has just been published in the latest edition of BMC Public Health. The article presents the results of an exploratory study that used participatory methods to identify, characterize, and rank climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada. To access the article, please click on the article title in the reference provided below. Harper, S.L., Edge, V.L., Ford, J., Cunsolo-Willox, A., Wood, M., IHACC Reseach Team, RICG and McEwen, S.A. 2015. Climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Canada. BMC Public Health. 15:605


Background: This exploratory study used participatory methods to identify, characterize, and rank climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada. Methods: A mixed method study design was used and involved collecting both qualitative and quantitative data at regional, community, and individual levels. In-depth interviews with regional health representatives were conducted throughout Nunatsiavut (n = 11). In addition, three PhotoVoice workshops were held with Rigolet community members (n = 11), where participants took photos of areas, items, or concepts that expressed how climate change is impacting their health. The workshop groups shared their photographs, discussed the stories and messages behind them, and then grouped photos into re-occurring themes. Two community surveys were administered in Rigolet to capture data on observed climatic and environmental changes in the area, and perceived impacts on health, wellbeing, and lifestyles (n = 187). Results: Climate-sensitive health pathways were described in terms of inter-relationships between environmental and social determinants of Inuit health. The climate-sensitive health priorities for the region included food security, water security, mental health and wellbeing, new hazards and safety concerns, and health services and delivery. Conclusions: The results highlight several climate-sensitive health priorities that are specific to the Nunatsiavut region, and suggest approaching health research and adaptation planning from an EcoHealth perspective. Keywords: Canada, Climate change, Health, Inuit, Nunatsiavut, EcoHealth

New IHACC project article by Jolène Labbé in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

Congratulations to Jolène Labbé for her newly published article in the latest edition of Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change entitled "Vulnerability to the health effects of climate variability in rural southwestern Uganda". Read the abstract below, or click on the title above to access the article.  


Vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change will be shaped by the existing burden of ill- health and is expected to be highest in poor and socio-economically marginalized populations. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, is considered a highly vulnerable region. This paper analyses the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of rural Bakiga communities in southwestern Uganda to climate-sensitive health risks. The objectives were threefold: i) identify key climate-sensitive, community-identified health priorities; ii) describe and characterize determinants of sensitivity to these health priorities at the individual, community and regional levels; and iii) assess the adaptive capacity of Bakiga. Data collection employed a combination of individual and key informant interviews, biographies, future storylines, and Photovoice. Three key health risks were identified by the study communities (malaria, food insecurity, and gastrointestinal illnesses) – all affected by local climatic and environmental conditions, livelihoods, land use changes, and socio-economic conditions. Adaptation within these communities is dependent on their capacity to reduce sensitivities to identified health challenges among the potential of increasing exposures. Crop diversification, reducing deforestation, expanding of livestock rearing, transfer of traditional knowledge, and access to affordable health services are among potential strategies identified. We demonstrate significant existing vulnerabilities to present day climate-related health risks and highlight the importance of non-climatic processes and local conditions in creating sensitivity to health risks. Our place-based understanding is useful to inform interventions or policies aimed to reduce exposure and sensitivity and support adaptive capacity as the conditions these communities face are consistent with many other sub-Saharan African countries.