Data from the 2011 Nepal Demographic Health Survey are combined with satellite remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data to evaluate whether interannual variability in weather is associated with child health. For stunting, we focus on children older than 24 months of age. NDVI anomaly averages during cropping months are evaluated during the year before birth, the year of birth, and the second year after birth. For wasting, we assess children under 59 months of age and relate growth to NDVI averages for the current and most recent growing periods.
Using satellite remote sensing and household survey data to assess human health and nutrition response to environmental change
Climate change and degradation of ecosystem services functioning may threaten the ability of current agricultural systems to keep up with demand for adequate and inexpensive food and for clean water, waste disposal and other broader ecosystem services. Human health is likely to be affected by changes occurring across multiple geographic and time scales. Impacts range from increasing transmissibility and the range of vectorborne diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, to undermining nutrition through deleterious impacts on food production and concomitant increases in food prices.
We combine three distinct datasets to study the connections between agriculture and child health in Nepal. Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 2006 are merged on the basis of common GIS data points with satellite remote sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) composites. Using these data we explore the association between the NDVI, a monthly proxy for agricultural production, and nutrition outcomes in children under age 5.