Background: Malaria is a significant public health issue in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as the burden is among the highest in Asia and the Pacific region. Though PNG’s vulnerability to climate change and sensitivity of malaria mosquitoes to weather are well-documented, there are few in-depth epidemiological studies conducted on the potential impacts of climate on malaria incidence in the country. Methods: This study explored what and how local weather and global climate variability impact on malaria incidence in five regions of PNG. Time series methods were applied to evaluate the associations of malaria incidence with weather and climate factors, respectively. Local weather factors including precipitation and temperature and global climate phenomena such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the ENSO Modoki, the Southern Annular Mode, and the Indian Ocean Dipole were considered in analyses. Results: The results showed that malaria incidence was associated with local weather factors in most regions but at the different lag times and in directions. Meanwhile, there were trends in associations with global climate factors by geographical locations of study sites. Conclusions: Overall heterogeneous associations suggest the importance of location-specific approaches in PNG not only for further investigations but also public health interventions in repose to the potential impacts arising from climate change.
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- Climate change
- Papua New Guinea