Water Sanitation Health

The burden of vector-borne diseases associated with irrigation schemes and large dams

at global and regional scale

WHO's Water, Sanitation and Health Unit and the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel have completed a series of systematic literature reviews to arrive at a global picture of the vector-borne disease burden that may be attributed to water resources development projects.

A strengthened evidence base will help better define the health impacts associated with water resources that have been developed and are managed without due consideration of adverse health effects. It will also provide a solid foundation for the assessment of the efficiency of water-driven health interventions, including alternative design and construction options for irrigation schemes and dams, and improved water management practices.

It will allow:

  • a comparison between different options for “water interventions” and other medical and public health interventions.
  • elucidation of trade-offs, synergies and antagonisms whenever combinations of interventions are considered.
  • highlighting situations where options with only a marginal benefit to the production output of other sectors become highly desirable because of their added health benefits.

The results of the reviews of the burden of malaria and lymphatic filariasis are now available; those for Japanese encephalitis and schistosomiasis will be available shortly..

Download the documents

Journal articles based on these report (Malaria, Lymphatic filariasis, Japanese encephalitis and Schistosomiasis)

  • Malaria
    pdf, 379kb

    Effect of irrigation and large dams on the burden of malaria on a global and regional scale
  • Lymphatic filariasis
    pdf, 360kb

    Effect of water resource development and management on lymphatic filariasis, and estimates of populations at risk
  • Japanese encephalitis
    pdf, 319kb

    Effect of irrigated rice agriculture on Japanese encephalitis, including challenges and opportunities for integrated vector management

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