“The existing public sector’s early warning systems for infectious disease and climate events are commonly disconnected; there are limited mechanisms in place that relate the two. In other words, there is a lack of data that helps understand and predict the impacts of extreme weather events and environmental changes on disease risk.
Attempting to find and connect climate and health data proves next to impossible with the current infrastructure in developing countries. For instance, when faced with an outbreak of dengue fever in Peru, the health minister has data on only health and demographics. If you wanted to combine that with climate data you would need to ask the minister of the environment. Want to relate economic data? Ask the minister of the economy and finance….
The Harmonize Project seeks to build a digital infrastructure of harmonized databases to feed early warning systems for epidemics exacerbated by climate change in the LAC region.
In collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC)—and a network in Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic—and supported by Wellcome, the project will bring together ministries, universities, private companies, social impact organizations, and more to create a complex data infrastructure and collect real longitudinal data on the ground. These new data sets will provide valuable information on seasonal variation in land use and human behavior has given climate hazards, which are generally assumed to be unchanging in health impact models.
The outcome of such an infrastructure? Actionable knowledge to inform local risk mapping and create strong early warning systems to drive resilience in low-resource communities….”