This study assesses the effect of temperature and rainfall on diarrhoea incidence in sludge and non-faecal sludge applying farming communities in Northern Ghana. Diarrhoea episode data were obtained through an open cohort survey involving 1,341 and 1,323 individuals from the sludge and non-faecal sludge communities, respectively. The effects of temperature and rainfall variables on diarrhoea incidence were assessed using autoregressive Poisson regression models. Maximum rainfall events in the same bi-week increased the risk of diarrhoea in the sludge (relative risk, RR: 1.034; confidence interval, CI: 1.02–1.05) and non-sludge (RR: 1.003; CI: 0.99–1.01) communities. However, this was not significant in the non-sludge communities (p > 0.05). Minimum rainfall occurring in the same bi-week decreased the risk of diarrhoea in both communities. Maximum temperature decreased the risk of diarrhoea in the sludge communities (RR: 0.50; CI: 0.38–0.65), but increased the risk in the non-sludge communities (RR: 1.19 CI: 1.02–1.40). Minimum temperature increased diarrhoea disease risk (RR: 3.50; CI: 2.10–5.80) in the sludge communities, but decreased the risk (RR: 0.70; CI: 0.54–0.84) in the non-sludge communities. The study stresses the need to account for weather variables when developing schemes for the land application of faecal sludge.

You do not currently have access to this content.