Bacterial and Viral Infection

Climate change and health

At a glance

Understanding the link between urbanisation and arboviral disease transmission

Lead researcher

Dr Houriiyah Tegally and Dr Moritz Kraemer


Stellenbosch University and University of Oxford


Amount awarded


Last updated



Dr Houriiyah Tegally and Dr Moritz Kraemer aim to examine the relationship between human migrations and urbanisation related to climate change and arboviral disease transmission.

Tegally and Kraemer Dr Houriiyah Tegally and Dr Moritz Kraemer

Climate change will continue to cause major disruptions to human society, including large-scale human migrations. Infectious diseases are also predicted to increase in frequency and intensity over the next century in part due to changes in climate.

Whereas the link between climate and infectious diseases has been explored in detail, the intersecting crises of climate induced human migration and health remains understudied. Diseases most affected by climate change in Africa are predicted to be arboviruses - such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika.

Dr Houriiyah Tegally and Dr Moritz Kraemer from Stellenbosch University and the University of Oxford propose to develop a transdisciplinary framework that links climate, extreme weather events, and human migration into prediction studies of future changes in climate sensitive arboviral diseases across sub-Saharan Africa.

They will explore how climate contributes to the risk of arboviruses causing epidemics in a larger geographical range, and how this is influenced by behavioural factors in areas most affected by climate migrations. They will also examine the impact of migrations related to climate hazards and their impact on bringing people closer together in environments where pathogen transmission can be accelerated (urbanisation).

The team will work across multiple public health and research institutions in South Africa, Kenya and clinical research sites in West and Central Africa, making the research outputs directly relevant to decision-makers.