Volume 102, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Changing precipitation patterns resulting from climate change are likely to have deleterious effects on health. We examined historical relationships between precipitation and diarrhea, cough, and fever among children aged 0–24 months in Uganda, a drought-prone region. Using data from the Uganda National Panel Survey from 2009 to 2012 (2,324 observations), we specified logistic regression models evaluating the relationships between deviations from annual and 30-day precipitation and caregiver-reported diarrhea, cough, and fever, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and including enumeration of area-fixed effects. Nonlinearities were assessed using restricted cubic splines. We observed nonlinear (J-shaped) relationships between deviations from annual precipitation and the three child illness outcomes. These J-shaped relationships represented steep reductions in illness with increasing precipitation at lower levels of rainfall and a leveling off at higher levels, with a small increase at higher levels. We did not find evidence for a relationship between 30-day precipitation and childhood illness. Trends of reduced rainfall in Uganda are likely having negative effects on child health.


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  • Received : 30 May 2019
  • Accepted : 18 Nov 2019
  • Published online : 13 Jan 2020
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