Are climate change pressures driving more mental illness in Africa?
It’s long been clear that climate change is altering patterns of disease outbreaks in Africa, as worsening heatwaves take a toll and changing rainfall and temperatures drive malaria-carrying mosquitoes into new areas.
But global warming may also be playing a key role in driving other kinds of illness in Africa – including mental health concerns.
Loss of livelihoods and displacement after drought, floods or storms often can cause deepening poverty and desperation, leading to an increase in stress, high blood pressure, alcohol and drug abuse, and even suicide, doctors and activists say.
photo credit: Rod Waddington