Complex adaptive modelling climate change health impacts in Malawi


  • Prof James Orbinski

    York University

Project summary

Malawi is one of the countries in the world that is most affected by climate change and the Chilwa Basin is among its most severely affected regions. Extreme weather events including floods and drought have combined with human-induced deforestation. This has caused population displacement, disruption to health services, increases in infectious diseases and undernutrition. 

We will use complex adaptive systems theory to develop a computer-based simulation of five subsystems and the way they interact in the Lake Chilwa Basin: ecological services; extreme weather; infectious diseases; food security; and public health and disaster risk management. We will focus on infectious diseases, such as malaria, cholera, schistosomiasis, acute diarrhoeal disease; food security outcomes, including – malnutrition and stunting in children; and potable water, sanitation and hygiene. 

In addition to the model, we will create a monitoring and evaluation dashboard and a toolbox to help select, monitor and evaluate health treatment, prevention and ecological adaptation measures.